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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 416969, 10 pages
Research Article

Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Imaging: A New Tool for the Diagnosis of Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma

1Department of Medical Ultrasound, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tenth People’s Hospital of Tongji University, No. 301 Yanchangzhong, Road Shanghai 200072, China
2Department of Ultrasound, Guangdong Medical College Affiliated Hospital, Zhanjiang 524001, China

Received 13 December 2013; Revised 13 May 2014; Accepted 13 May 2014; Published 22 June 2014

Academic Editor: Richard G. Barr

Copyright © 2014 Yi-Feng Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To evaluate the diagnostic performance of ARFI imaging in differentiating between benign and malignant thyroid nodules <1 cm. Materials and Methods. 173 pathologically proven thyroid nodules (77 benign, 96 malignant) in 157 patients were included in this study. Receiver-operating characteristic curve (ROC) analyses were performed to assess the diagnostic performance of conventional ultrasound (US) and ARFI imaging in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC). The independent risk factors for predicting PTMC were evaluated. Results. The mean SWV value of benign and malignant thyroid nodules were 2.57 ± 0.79 m/s (range: 0.90–4.92 m/s) and 3.88 ± 2.24 m/s (range: 1.49–9.00 m/s) ( ). Az for VTI elastography score was higher than that for hypoechoic, absence of halo sign, and type III vascularity ( ). The optimal cut-offs for VTI elastography score and SWV were score 4 and 3.10 m/s. Gender, hypoechoic, taller than wide, VTI elastography score ≥ 4, and SWV > 3.10 m/s had been found to be independent risk factors for predicting PTMC. Conclusion. ARFI elastography can provide elasticity information of PTMC quantitatively (VTQ) and directly reflects the overall elastic properties (VTI). Gender, hypoechogenicity, taller than wide, VTI elastography score ≥ 4, and SWV > 3.10 m/s are independent risk factors for predicting PTMC. ARFI elastography seems to be a new tool for the diagnosis of PTMC.