Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic value of vascular indices obtained using 3D power Doppler ultrasound (3D PDUS) in differentiation of benign and malignant thyroid nodules.Materials and methods: Sixty-seven patients (56 female, 11 male, mean age 44.6) with 81 thyroid nodules exhibiting mixed (peripheral and central) vascularization patterns, with the largest diameter between 10 and 30 mm, were prospectively evaluated using 3D PDUS. Nodule volume, vascularization index (VI), flow index (FI), and vascularization flow index (VFI) were calculated using the Virtual Organ Computer-aided Analysis (VOCAL) software, and these indices were then compared with regard to the cytohistopathology-based diagnosis. The optimum cutoff values for the differentiation of benign and malignant nodules were identified, and diagnostic efficacy was calculated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis.Results: Fifty-six of the 81 nodules included in this study were diagnosed as benign and 25 as malignant. Vascular indices in malignant nodules were significantly higher than those in benign nodules (P < 0.05). In benign nodules, the mean VI was 11.61 ± 6.88, mean FI was 39.75 ± 3.93, and mean VFI was 4.82 ± 2.94, compared to 18.64 ± 12.81, 41.82 ± 4.43, and 8.17 ± 6.37, respectively, in malignant nodules. The area under the curves (AUCs) was calculated as 0.68, 0.61, and 0.67 for VI, FI, and VFI, respectively. At optimal cutoff values of 10.2 for VI, 40.8 for FI, and 5.5 for VFI, the sensitivity and specificity were 72%/55.4%, 68%/57.1%, and 68%/67.9%, respectively. Conclusion: 3D PDUS can be useful in the characterization of thyroid nodules.


Thyroid nodules, three-dimensional power Doppler ultrasound, vascular indices, VOCAL

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