Korean J Radiol.  2022 Nov;23(11):1102-1111. 10.3348/kjr.2022.0358.

Sonographic Diagnosis of Cervical Lymph Node Metastasis in Patients with Thyroid Cancer and Comparison of European and Korean Guidelines for Stratifying the Risk of Malignant Lymph Node

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Surgery, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Pathology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea

Abstract


Objective
To evaluate the ultrasonography (US) features for diagnosing metastasis in cervical lymph nodes (LNs) in patients with thyroid cancer and compare the US classification of risk of LN metastasis between European and Korean guidelines.
Materials and Methods
From January 2014 to December 2018, US-guided fine-needle aspiration was performed on 836 LNs from 714 patients for the preoperative nodal staging of thyroid cancer. The US features of LNs were retrospectively reviewed for the following features: size, presence of hilum, margin, orientation, cystic change, punctate echogenic foci (PEF), large echogenic foci, eccentric cortical thickening, abnormal vascularity, and cortical hyperechogenicity. A multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to identify the independent US features for the diagnosis of metastatic LNs. The diagnostic performance of independent US features was subsequently evaluated. LNs were categorized according to the Korean Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (K-TIRADS) and European Thyroid Association (ETA) guidelines, and the correlation between the two sets of classifications was assessed.
Results
Absence of the hilum, presence of cystic changes, PEF, abnormal vascularity, and cortical hyperechogenicity were independent US features of metastatic LNs. Cystic changes, PEF, abnormal vascularity, and cortical hyperechogenicity showed high specificity (86.8%–99.6%). The absence of the hilum had the highest sensitivity yet low specificity (66.4%). When LNs were classified according to the ETA guidelines and K-TIRADS, they yielded similar categorizations of malignancy risks and were strongly correlated (Spearman coefficient, 0.9766 [95% confidence interval, 0.973–0.979]). According to the ETA guidelines, 9.8% (82/836) of LNs were classified as “not specified.”
Conclusion
Absence of hilum, cystic changes, PEF, abnormal vascularity, and cortical hyperechogenicity were independent US features suggestive of metastatic LNs in thyroid cancer. Both K-TIRADS and the ETA guidelines provided similar risk stratification for metastatic LNs with a high correlation; however, the ETA guidelines failed to classify 9.8% of LNs into a specific risk stratum. These results may provide a basis for revising LN classification in future guidelines.

Keyword

Thyroid; Thyroid cancer; Lymph node; Ultrasonography; Metastasis
Full Text Links
  • KJR
Actions
Cited
CITED
export Copy
Close
Share
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr