Can vascularity at power Doppler US help predict thyroid malignancy?

Hee Jung Moon, Jin Young Kwak, Min Jung Kim, Eun Ju Son, Eun Kyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To retrospectively evaluate the diagnostic performance of power Doppler ultrasonography (US) in depicting vascularity and to determine whether the combination of vascularity and suspicious gray-scale US features is more useful in predicting thyroid malignancy than are gray-scale features alone. Materials and Methods: This was an institutional review board-approved retrospective study, with waiver of informed consent. A total of 1083 thyroid nodules in 1024 patients (median age, 51 years; range, 16-83 years), consisting of 886 women (median age, 50 years; range, 16-83 years) and 138 men (median age, 53 years; range, 19-74 years), were included. Nodules with marked hypoechogenicity, noncircumscribed margins, microcalcifications, and taller-than-wide shape were classified as suspicious according to gray-scale US criteria. Vascularity was classified as none, peripheral, and intranodular. The diagnostic performance of grayscale and power Doppler US features was compared and classified as follows: criterion 1, any single suspicious grayscale US feature; criterion 2, addition of any vascularity as one of the suspicious features to criterion 1; criterion 3, addition of peripheral vascularity to criterion 1; criterion 4, addition of intranodular vascularity to criterion 1; criterion 5, addition of no vascularity to criterion 1; criterion 6, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and Associazione Medici Endocrinology guidelines - all hypoechoic nodules with at least one of the following US features: irregular margins, intranodular vascular spots, taller-than-wide shape, or microcalcifications. Results: Of 1083 nodules, 814 were benign and 269 were malignant. Intranodular vascularity was frequently seen in benign nodules and no vascularity was more frequent in malignant nodules(P < .0001, respectively). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve(A z) of criterion 1 was superior (Az = 0.851) to that of criteria 2 (Az = 0.634), 3 (Az = 0.752), 4 (Az = 0.733), 5 (Az = 0.718), and 6 (Az = 0.806) (P < .0001). Conclusion: Vascularity itself or a combination of vascularity and grayscale US features was not as useful as the use of suspicious gray-scale US features alone for predicting thyroid malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-269
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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