Malignancy risk stratification of thyroid nodules according to echotexture and degree of hypoechogenicity: a retrospective multicenter validation study

Ji Ye Lee, Chang Yoon Lee, Inpyeong Hwang, Sung Hye You, Sun Won Park, Boeun Lee, Ra Gyoung Yoon, Younghee Yim, Ji hoon Kim, Dong Gyu Na

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Various risk stratification systems show discrepancies in the ultrasound lexicon of nodule echotexture and hypoechogenicity. This study aimed to determine the malignancy risk of thyroid nodules according to their echotexture and degree of hypoechogenicity. From June to September 2015, we retrospectively evaluated 5601 thyroid nodules with final diagnoses from 26 institutions. Nodules were stratified according to the echotexture (homogeneous vs. heterogeneous) and degree of hypoechogenicity (mild, moderate, or marked). We calculated the malignancy risk according to composition and suspicious features. Heterogeneous hypoechoic nodules showed a significantly higher malignancy risk than heterogeneous isoechoic nodules (P ≤ 0.017), except in partially cystic nodules. Malignancy risks were not significantly different between homogeneous versus heterogeneous nodules in both hypoechoic (P ≥ 0.086) and iso- hyperechoic nodules (P ≥ 0.05). Heterogeneous iso-hyperechoic nodules without suspicious features showed a low malignancy risk. The malignancy risks of markedly and moderately hypoechoic nodules were not significantly different in all subgroups (P ≥ 0.48). Marked or moderately hypoechoic nodules showed a significantly higher risk than mild hypoechoic (P ≤ 0.016) nodules. The predominant echogenicity effectively stratifies the malignancy risk of nodules with heterogeneous echotexture. The degree of hypoechogenicity could be stratified as mild versus moderate to marked hypoechogenicity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16587
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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