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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 908575, 8 pages
Review Article

Strain US Elastography for the Characterization of Thyroid Nodules: Advantages and Limitation

1Department of Radiology, Anatomopathology and Oncology, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale del Policlinico 155, 00161 Rome, Italy
2Venizelio Regional General Hospital of Heraklion, Leoforos Knosou, 714 09 Iraklio, Greece
3Department of Surgical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy
4University of Tirana, Rruga Arben Broci, Tirana, Albania
5University Hospital of Pavia, Viale Camillo Golgi 19, 27100 Pavia, Italy
6Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Contrada Tappino, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
7Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, Viale Regina Elena 324, 00161 Rome, Italy

Received 8 February 2015; Accepted 19 March 2015

Academic Editor: Dario Acuña-Castroviejo

Copyright © 2015 Vito Cantisani 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.


Thyroid nodules, with their high prevalence in the general population, represent a diagnostic challenge for clinicians. Ultrasound (US), although absolutely reliable in detecting thyroid nodules, is still not accurate enough to differentiate them into benign and malignant. A promising novel modality, US elastography, has been introduced in order to further increase US accuracy. The purpose of this review article is to assess the thyroid application of US strain elastography, also known as real-time elastography or quasistatic elastography. We provide a presentation of the technique, and of up-to-date literature, analyzing the most prominent results reported for thyroid nodules differentiation. The practical advantages and limitations of strain elastography are extensively discussed herein.