Developments in the use of ultrasound for thyroid cancer

John I. Lew, Steven E. Rodgers, Carmen C. Solorzano

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Purpose of review This article reviews the recent developments in neck ultrasound for thyroid cancer published in the last 18 months, with emphasis on the emerging role of surgeon-performed ultrasound in clinical endocrine practice. Recent findings: Ultrasound has evolved beyond the simple differentiation of solid and cystic thyroid nodules and their measurement. Although no single ultrasound feature has the highest accuracy in distinguishing between benign and malignant thyroid lesions, the combination of several ultrasound characteristics (e.g. hypoechogenicity, irregular borders and microcalcifications) within such thyroid nodules may have a stronger correlation for thyroid cancer. Based on these ultrasound features and risk for thyroid malignancy, the need for ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration, preoperative staging, lymph node mapping and extent of surgery can subsequently be determined and performed. Furthermore, ultrasound has an additional value intraoperatively and in the postoperative surveillance of patients treated for thyroid cancer. Surgeon-performed ultrasound has recently become indispensible in clinical practice where endocrine surgeons have integrated this versatile imaging modality in the evaluation and treatment of patients with thyroid cancer. Recent findings: Ultrasound is an essential modality in the evaluation of thyroid malignancy. Surgeon-performed ultrasound has proved invaluable in the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative setting. Future developments in ultrasound may lead to further improvement in the diagnostic accuracy of this modality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent opinion in oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Lymph node metastasis
  • Lymph node staging and mapping
  • Postoperative surveillance
  • Recurrent thyroid cancer
  • Surgeon-performed ultrasound
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Ultrasoundguided fine needle aspiration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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