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In World journal of surgical oncology ; h5-index 0.0

BACKGROUND : The evaluation of thyroid nodules with ultrasonography has created a large burden for radiologists. Artificial intelligence technology has been rapidly developed in recent years to reduce the cost of labor and improve the differentiation of thyroid malignancies. This study aimed to investigate the diagnostic performance of a novel computer-aided diagnosing system (CADs: S-detect) for the ultrasound (US) interpretation of thyroid nodule subtypes in a specialized thyroid center.

METHODS : Our study prospectively included 180 thyroid nodules that underwent ultrasound interpretation. The CADs and radiologist assessed all nodules. The ultrasonographic features of different subtypes were analyzed, and the diagnostic performances of the CADs and radiologist were compared.

RESULTS : There were seven subtypes of thyroid nodules, among which papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) accounted for 50.6% and follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) accounted for 2.2%. Among all thyroid nodules, the CADs presented a higher sensitivity and lower specificity than the radiologist (90.5% vs 81.1%; 41.2% vs 83.5%); the radiologist had a higher accuracy than the CADs (82.2% vs 67.2%) for diagnosing malignant thyroid nodules. The accuracy of the CADs was not as good as that of the radiologist in diagnosing PTCs (70.9% vs 82.1%). The CADs and radiologist presented accuracies of 43.8% and 60.9% in identifying FTCs, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS : The ultrasound CADs presented a higher sensitivity for identifying malignant thyroid nodules than experienced radiologists. The CADs was not as good as experienced radiologists in a specialized thyroid center in identifying PTCs. Radiologists maintained a higher specificity than the CADs for FTC detection.

Xia Shujun, Yao Jiejie, Zhou Wei, Dong Yijie, Xu Shangyan, Zhou Jianqiao, Zhan Weiwei


CADs, Experienced radiologists, Thyroid nodule