Objective: The purpose of the study was to differentiate between benign and malignant thyroid nodules using nodule-spinal cord signal intensity and nodule apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) ratios on diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI).
Materials and methods: Forty-four patients (27 females, 17 males; mean age, 49 years) with nodules who underwent DW-MRI were included in this study. The images were acquired with 0, 50, 400 and 1000 s/mm(2)b values. ADC maps were calculated afterwards. Fine needle aspiration biopsies (FNAB) were performed at the same day with DW-MRI acquisition. The diagnosis in patients where malignity was detected after FNAB was confirmed by histopathologic analysis of the operation material. The signal intensities of the spinal cord and the nodule were measured additionally, over b-1000 diffusion-weighted images. Nodule/cord signal intensity (SI) ratios were obtained and the digital values were calculated by dividing to ADC values estimated for each nodule. Statistical analysis was performed.
Results: The (nodule SI-cord SI)/nodule ADC ratio is calculated in the DW images, and a statistically significant relationship was found between this ratio and the histopathology of the nodules (P<.001). The ratio was determined as 0.27 in benign and 0.86 in malignant lesions. The result of receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was statistically significant, and the area under curve (100%) was considerably high. The threshold value was calculated as 0.56 according to the ROC analysis. According to this threshold value, the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy rates for (nodule SI/cord SI)/ADC ratios in differentiating benign from malignant thyroid nodules are calculated as 100%, 97%, 83%, 100%, and 98%, respectively.
Conclusion: We have found that (nodule/cord SI)/nodule ADC ratio has the highest values for sensitivity and specificity among the tests defined for characterization of nodules.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Inc.