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Ultrasound radiomics signature for predicting central lymph node metastasis in clinically node-negative papillary thyroid microcarcinoma.

Thyroid Research 2024 Februrary 20
BACKGROUND: Whether prophylactic central lymph node dissection is necessary for patients with clinically node-negative (cN0) papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC) remains controversial. Herein, we aimed to establish an ultrasound (US) radiomics (Rad) score for assessing the probability of central lymph node metastasis (CLNM) in such patients.

METHODS: 480 patients (327 in the training cohort, 153 in the validation cohort) who underwent thyroid surgery for cN0 PTMC at two institutions between January 2018 and December 2020 were included. Radiomics features were extracted from the US images. Least absolute shrinkage and selection operator logistic regression were utilized to generate a Rad score. A nomogram consisting of the Rad score and clinical factors was then constructed for the training cohort. Both cohorts assessed model performance using discrimination, calibration, and clinical usefulness.

RESULTS: Based on the six most valuable radiomics features, the Rad score was calculated for each patient. A multivariate analysis revealed that a higher Rad score (P < 0.001), younger age (P = 0.006), and presence of capsule invasion (P = 0.030) were independently associated with CLNM. A nomogram integrating these three factors demonstrated good calibration and promising clinical utility in the training and validation cohorts. The nomogram yielded areas under the curve of 0.795 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.745-0.846) and 0.774 (95% CI, 0.696-0.852) in the training and validation cohorts, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The radiomics nomogram may be a clinically useful tool for the individual prediction of CLNM in patients with cN0 PTMC.

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