Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse-Imaging for the evaluation of the thyroid gland: a limited patient feasibility study.
ABSTRACT Real-time tissue elastography, a qualitative elastography method, has shown promising results in the diagnostic work up of thyroid nodules. However, to our knowledge no study has evaluated a quantitative elastography method in the thyroid gland. The present study is a feasibility study evaluating Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse-Imaging, a novel quantitative elastography method in the thyroid gland.
ARFI-imaging involves the mechanical excitation of tissue using short-duration acoustic pulses to generate localized displacements in tissue. The displacements induce a lateral shear-wave propagation which is tracked using multiple laterally positioned ultrasound "tracking" beams. Inclusion criteria were: thyroid nodules ≥1cm, non-functioning or hypo-functioning on radionuclide scanning, and cytological/histological assessment of thyroid nodule as reference method. All patients received conventional ultrasound, and examination of the thyroid gland including Power Doppler Ultrasound using a 9MHz linear transducer, in addition real-time elastography (RTE) was performed at 9MHz frequency and ARFI-imaging was performed at 4MHz using Siemens (ACUSON S2000) B-mode-ARFI combination transducer.
Sixty nodules in 55 patients were analyzed. Three nodules were papillary carcinoma. The stiffer the tissue the faster the shear wave propagates. The results obtained indicated that the shear wave velocity in thyroid lobes ranged between 0.5 and 4.9m/s. The median velocity of ARFI-imaging in the healthy nodule-free thyroid gland, as well as in benign and malignant thyroid nodules was 1.98m/s (range: 1.20-3.63m/s), 2.02m/s (range: 0.92-3.97m/s), and 4.30m/s (range: 2.40-4.50m/s), respectively. While no significant difference in median velocity was found between healthy thyroid tissue and benign thyroid nodules, a significant difference was found between malignant thyroid nodules on the one hand and healthy thyroid tissue (p=0.018) or benign thyroid nodules (p=0.014) on the other hand. Specificity of ARFI-imaging for the differentiation of benign and malignant thyroid nodules was comparable with RTE (91-95%).
ARFI can be performed in the thyroid tissue with reliable results.
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ABSTRACT: Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse (ARFI)-Imaging is an ultrasound-based elastography method enabling quantitative measurement of tissue stiffness. The aim of the present study was to evaluate sensitivity and specificity of ARFI-imaging for differentiation of thyroid nodules and to compare it to the well evaluated qualitative real-time elastography (RTE). ARFI-imaging involves the mechanical excitation of tissue using acoustic pulses to generate localized displacements resulting in shear-wave propagation which is tracked using correlation-based methods and recorded in m/s. Inclusion criteria were: nodules ≥5 mm, and cytological/histological assessment. All patients received conventional ultrasound, real-time elastography (RTE) and ARFI-imaging. One-hundred-fifty-eight nodules in 138 patients were available for analysis. One-hundred-thirty-seven nodules were benign on cytology/histology, and twenty-one nodules were malignant. The median velocity of ARFI-imaging in the healthy thyroid tissue, as well as in benign and malignant thyroid nodules was 1.76 m/s, 1.90 m/s, and 2.69 m/s, respectively. While no significant difference in median velocity was found between healthy thyroid tissue and benign thyroid nodules, a significant difference was found between malignant thyroid nodules on the one hand and healthy thyroid tissue (p = 0.0019) or benign thyroid nodules (p = 0.0039) on the other hand. No significant difference of diagnostic accuracy for the diagnosis of malignant thyroid nodules was found between RTE and ARFI-imaging (0.74 vs. 0.69, p = 0.54). The combination of RTE with ARFI did not improve diagnostic accuracy. ARFI can be used as an additional tool in the diagnostic work up of thyroid nodules with high negative predictive value and comparable results to RTE.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e42735. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The transverse carpal ligament (TCL) forms the volar boundary of the carpal tunnel and may provide mechanical constraint to the median nerve, leading to carpal tunnel syndrome. Therefore, the mechanical properties of the TCL are essential to better understand the etiology of carpal tunnel syndrome. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vivo TCL stiffness using acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging. The shear wave velocity (SWV) of the TCL was measured using Virtual Touch IQ(TM) software in 15 healthy, male subjects. The skin and the thenar muscles were also examined as reference tissues. In addition, the effects of measurement location and ultrasound transducer compression on the SWV were studied. The SWV of the TCL was dependent on the tissue location, with greater SWV values within the muscle-attached region than those outside of the muscle-attached region. The SWV of the TCL was significantly smaller without compression (5.21 ± 1.08 m/s) than with compression (6.62 ± 1.18 m/s). The SWV measurements of the skin and the thenar muscles were also affected by transducer compression, but to different extents than the SWV of the TCL. Therefore to standardize the ARFI imaging procedure, it is recommended that a layer of ultrasound gel be maintained to minimize the effects of tissue compression. This study demonstrated the feasibility of ARFI imaging for assessing the stiffness characteristics of the TCL in vivo, which has the potential to identify pathomechanical changes of the tissue.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68569. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Virtual touch tissue quantification (VTQ) of acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) is a new quantitative technique to measure tissue stiffness. The study was aimed to assess the usefulness of VTQ in the diagnosis of thyroid nodules. METHODS: 173 pathologically proven thyroid nodules in 142 patients were included and all were examined by conventional ultrasound (US), conventional elasticity imaging (EI) and VTQ of ARFI. The tissue stiffness for VTQ was expressed as shear wave velocity (SWV) (m/s). Receiver-operating characteristic curve (ROC) analyses were performed to assess the diagnostic performance. Intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of VTQ measurement was assessed. RESULTS: The SWVs of benign and malignant thyroid nodules were 2.34±1.17 m/s (range: 0.61-9.00 m/s) and 4.82±2.53 m/s (range: 2.32-9.00 m/s) respectively (P<0.001). The mean SWV ratios between each nodule and the adjacent thyroid tissue were 1.19±0.67 (range: 0.31-6.87) for benign and 2.50±1.54 (range: 0.85-6.69) for malignant nodules (P<0.001). ROC analyses indicated that the area under the curve was 0.861 (95% CI : 0.804, 0.918) (P<0.001) for SWV and 0.831(95% CI : 0.761, 0.900)(P<0.001) for the SWV ratio. The cutoff points for the differential diagnosis were 2.87 m/s for SWV and 1.59 for SWV ratio. The sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for EI were 65.9%, 66.7%, 66.5%, 40.3%, and 85.1%, respectively, and were 63.6%-75%, 82.2%-88.4%, 80.3%-82.1%, 58.9%-65.1%, and 87.7%-90.5%, respectively, for VTQ. The diagnostic value of VTQ is the highest for nodules >20 mm and lowest for those ≤10 mm. The correlation coefficients were 0.904 for intraobserver measurement and 0.864 for interobserver measurement. CONCLUSIONS: VTQ of ARFI provides quantitative and reproducible information about the tissue stiffness, which is useful for the differentiation between benign and malignant thyroid nodules. The diagnostic performance of VTQ is higher than that of conventional EI.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(11):e49094. · 3.73 Impact Factor