JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Contrast-enhanced ultrasound in the diagnosis of solitary thyroid nodules.

OBJECTIVES: The aim was to study the patterns of solitary thyroid nodule with real-time contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) and assess its value in differentiating between malignant and benign thyroid nodules.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seventy-eight patients with solitary thyroid nodule (37 malignant, 41 benign) underwent real-time CEUS. The patterns of their enhancement were assessed from six aspects: Degree of enhancement, process of enhancement, homogeneity of enhancement, completeness of enhancement, boundary of the enhanced lesions, and shape of the enhanced lesions.

RESULTS: Contrast-enhanced patterns were significantly different between benign and malignant thyroid nodules (P < 0.05), except for process of enhancement. The shape of most malignant lesions was irregular (94.59%), the boundary was unclear (86.49%) and had no significantly enhanced (78.38%). Most malignant lesions became inhomogeneously (78.38%) and incompletely enhanced (70.27%).

CONCLUSIONS: The patterns of real-time CEUS are significantly different between benign and malignant thyroid nodules, and have important clinical value.

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