Combined preoperative serum thyroglobulin level and ACR-thyroid imaging reporting and data system scoring could accurately define malignant thyroid nodules

Waseem A. Shoda


Background: Evaluation of diagnostic ability of preoperative estimation of serum thyroglobulin (TG) to detect malignant thyroid nodules (TN) in comparison to the American College of Radiology, Thyroid imaging reporting and data system (ACR-TIRADS), fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and intraoperative frozen section (IO-FS).

Methods: 34 patients with ACR-TIRADS 2-4 TN were evaluated preoperatively for identification of malignancy and all underwent total thyroidectomy with bilateral neck block dissection if indicated. Results of preoperative investigations were statistically analyzed using the Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis as predictors for malignancy in comparison to postoperative paraffin sections.

Results: Preoperative serum TG levels had 100% sensitivity and negative predictive value, while ACR-TIRADS scoring had 100% specificity and positive predictive value with accuracy rates of 95.35% and 97.67% for TG and TIRADS, respectively. ROC curve analysis defined preoperative ACR-TIRADS class and serum TG as highly diagnostic than FNAC for defining malignancy with non-significant difference between areas under curve for TIRADS and TG. For cases had intermediate risk of malignancy on TIRADS, IO-FS had missed 3, FNAC missed 4, while serum TG levels were very high in the 13 cases and were defined by ROC curve as the only significant predictor for malignancy.

Conclusions: Preoperative estimation of serum TG showed higher diagnostic validity than FNAC, high predictability of cancer and ability to verify the intermediate findings on TIRADS. Combined preoperative TIRADS and TG estimation could accurately discriminate malignant TN with high accuracy and spare the need for preoperative FNAC or IO-FS.



Thyroid nodules, Thyroid imaging reporting and data system classification, Thyroglobulin, Fine needle aspiration cytology, Frozen section, Prediction of malignancy

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