Thyroid ultrasonography (US) is the gold standard for thyroid imaging and its widespread use is due to an optimal spatial resolution for superficial anatomic structures, a low cost and the lack of health risks. Thyroid US is a pivotal tool for the diagnosis and follow-up of autoimmune thyroid diseases, for assessing nodule size and echostructure and defining the risk of malignancy in thyroid nodules. The main limitation of US is the poor reproducibility, due to the variable experience of the operators and the different performance and settings of the equipments. Aim of this consensus statement is to standardize the report of thyroid US through the definition of common minimum requirements and a correct terminology. US patterns of autoimmune thyroid diseases are defined. US signs of malignancy in thyroid nodules are classified and scored in each nodule. We also propose a simplified nodule risk stratification, based on the predictive value of each US sign, classified and scored according to the strength of association with malignancy, but also to the estimated reproducibility among different operators.
Keywords: Autoimmune thyroiditis; Graves’ disease; Thyroid; Thyroid cancer; Thyroid nodules; Thyroid ultrasonography.