Value of Qualitative and Quantitative Contrast‐Enhanced Ultrasound Analysis in Preoperative Diagnosis of Cervical Lymph Node Metastasis From Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma
June 20, 2019 — Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine
To investigate the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of contrast‐enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) in assessing cervical lymph node metastasis from papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and to evaluate its value in the preoperative diagnosis of cervical lymph node metastasis from PTC.
A total of 55 lymph nodes in 46 patients were enrolled retrospectively, including 29 metastases from PTC and 26 normal/reactive ones. All lymph nodes were evaluated by conventional ultrasound (US) and CEUS before biopsy or surgery. A receiver operating characteristic curve analysis was used to analyze the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of US and CEUS features in the diagnosis of lymph node metastasis as well as the overall diagnostic performance of US, CEUS, and a combination of the two.
Significant differences were found in the enhancement direction, enhancement type, and enhancement range between metastatic and normal/reactive lymph nodes on CEUS (P < .05). Quantitative CEUS parameters were not statistically significant (P > .05). The combination of US and CEUS had the highest diagnostic accuracy (92.7%) compared with US (80.8%) and CEUS (89.1%) alone in the diagnosis of lymph node metastasis from PTC.
The characteristics of cervical lymph node metastasis from PTC on CEUS include centripetal perfusion, peripheral or mixed enhancement, and an enlarged range on CEUS compared with US, and the first feature was the most meaningful. The combination of CEUS and US is a promising imaging tool for the preoperative diagnosis of cervical metastatic lymph nodes in patients with PTC.
Authors: Lei Chen MD, Luzeng Chen MD, Jinghua Liu MD, Bin Wang MD, Hui Zhang MD