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Thyroid nodules are very common with malignancies accounting for about 5 %. Fine-needle biopsy is the most accurate test for thyroid cancer diagnosis. Elastography, a new technology directly evaluating the elastic property of the tissue, has been recently added to the diagnostic armamentarium of the endocrinologists as noninvasive predictor of thyroid malignancy. In this paper, we critically reviewed characteristics and applications of elastographic methods in thyroid gland. Elastographic techniques can be classified on the basis of the following: source-of-tissue compression (free-hand, carotid vibration, ultrasound pulses), processing time (real-time, off-line), stiffness expression (qualitative, semi-quantitative, or quantitative). Acoustic radiation force impulse and aixplorer shear wave are the newest and most promising quantitative elastographic methods. Primary application of elastography is the detection of nodular lesions suspicious for malignancy. Published data show a high sensitivity and negative predictive value of the technique. Insufficient data are available on the possible application of elastography in the differential diagnosis of indeterminate lesions and in thyroiditis. Elastography represents a noninvasive tool able to increase the performance of ultrasound in the selection of thyroid nodules at higher risk of malignancy. Some technical improvements and definition of more robust quantitative diagnostic criteria are required for assigning a definite role in the management of thyroid nodules and thyroiditis to elastography.
This article was published in the following journal.
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Defective development of the THYROID GLAND. This concept includes thyroid agenesis (aplasia), hypoplasia, or an ectopic gland. Clinical signs usually are those of CONGENITAL HYPOTHYROIDISM.
Inflammatory disease of the THYROID GLAND due to autoimmune responses leading to lymphocytic infiltration of the gland. It is characterized by the presence of circulating thyroid antigen-specific T-CELLS and thyroid AUTOANTIBODIES. The clinical signs can range from HYPOTHYROIDISM to THYROTOXICOSIS depending on the type of autoimmune thyroiditis.
Spontaneously remitting inflammatory condition of the THYROID GLAND, characterized by FEVER; MUSCLE WEAKNESS; SORE THROAT; severe thyroid PAIN; and an enlarged damaged gland containing GIANT CELLS. The disease frequently follows a viral infection.
Hypersecretion of THYROID HORMONES from the THYROID GLAND. Elevated levels of thyroid hormones increase BASAL METABOLIC RATE.
A highly vascularized endocrine gland consisting of two lobes joined by a thin band of tissue with one lobe on each side of the TRACHEA. It secretes THYROID HORMONES from the follicular cells and CALCITONIN from the parafollicular cells thereby regulating METABOLISM and CALCIUM level in blood, respectively.
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