A New Imaging Technique for the Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer: Thyroidography
Yavuz, Alp Erdem
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Background: Microcalcifications are the most important diagnostic parameter for thyroid cancer. We developed a new imaging technique based on low dose X-rays that specifically reveal microcalcifications via a new software algorithm. Method: A prospective clinical trial was planned and 45 cases (37 women, 8 men, women/men: 4.6, age range: 17-68, mean age: 43) were included in the study. After total thyroidectomy with standard technique, the fresh thyroid tissues were integrated into the human neck simulator. Raw (DICOM) images were obtained for each tissue sample with a standard mammography device and transformed into new images (thyroidograms) by a new software algorithm. Preoperative ultrasonography (USG) images, DICOM images, and thyroidograms were evaluated in order to observe micro and macrocalcifications by the same experienced radiologist. Results: Twenty-four cases were malignant and 21 cases were benign after histopathologic evaluation. Microcalcification detection with the thyroidography was statistically significant for sensitivity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy (p < 0.05) but not for specificity (p > 0.05) compared to the USG and DICOM images for the malignant and also benign cases. Conclusion: This new imaging technique is hopeful for diagnosis of thyroid cancer according to microcalcification detection and may complement thyroid USG.