AMERICAN SURGEON, vol.83, no.11, pp.1228-1234, 2017 (SCI-Expanded)
The usage of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) therapy and elastography to treat thyroid nodules has been increasing recently. Elastography specifically measures the stiffness of tissue using ultrasonography (US). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between the elastography values of thyroid nodules and the efficacy of RFA therapy. Ultrasonography was performed on 49 patients who had a thyroid nodule with a diameter of 1 cm or greater before RFA therapy. The RFA was performed under local anesthesia, and elastography was used to measure the stiffness of the normal thyroid tissue, sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) and thyroid nodules three months after RFA. The nodule diameter significantly decreased three months after RFA (P < 0.05). According to a cross-evaluation of the mean elastography rates, the thyroid/SCM and nodule/thyroid elastography rates had an inverse relationship (P: 0.009). However, the thyroid/ SCM elastography rates and nodule/SCM elastography rates (P: 0.022) and the thyroid/SCM elastography rates and the rates of reduction (%) of the nodule diameter before and three months after RFA (P: 0.016) had positive relationships. In conclusion, RFA therapy is more effective in patients with thyroid nodules if there are high thyroid tissue/SCM rates in elastography.