Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The management of nodules with indeterminate cytology [atypia of undetermined significance (AUS), follicular lesion of undetermined significance (FLUS), follicular neoplasm (FN), suspicious for a follicular neoplasm (SFN), and suspicious for malignancy (SM)] results is controversial. To assess the role of the elastography technique in the diagnosis of malignancy in the subtypes of indeterminate thyroid nodules. Materials and methods: We included 132 patients with indeterminate cytology who underwent thyroid surgery. Sensitivity, specificity, area under the curve, and optimal cut-off points were calculated with receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis for elastography score (ES) and strain index (SI). Results: Malignancy was observed in 27/95 (28.4%) of the AUS-FLUS cytology and 12/24 (50%) of FN, SFN cytology. All of the 13 patients (100 %) with SM are found to be malignant on histology. In the FLUS group, nodules with ES greater or equal to 3, the presence of malignancy was higher 17/41 (41.5%) when compared with nodules with ES smaller than 39/46 (19.6 %) (p = 0.023). In the SFN group, 2 of 2 nodules with an ES score of 4 and 1 of 1 nodule with an ES score of 5 were malignant. In the FLUS group, 4 of 10 nodules with an ES score of 4 and 2 of 2 nodules with an ES score of 5 were malignant. Conclusion: Thyroid elastography may reduce unnecessary surgery for both patients with AUS/FLUS and selected SFN cytology. Elastography appears to be helpful in follicular variants and other types of papillary thyroid cancer, however, not in follicular thyroid cancer.


Elastography, indeterminate cytology, malignancy, thyroid

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