Added value of mass characteristic frequency to 2-D shear wave elastography for differentiation of benign and malignant thyroid nodules

Jacob D Kohlenberg, Juanjuan Gu, Ahmad Parvinian, Jeremy Webb, Omar El Kawkgi, Nicholas Larson, Mabel Ryder, Mostafa Fatemi, Azra Alizad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mass characteristic frequency (fmass) is a novel shear wave (SW) parameter that represents the ratio of the averaged minimum SW speed within the regions of interest to the largest dimension of the mass. Our study objective was to evaluate if the addition of fmass to conventional 2-D shear wave elastography (SWE) parameters would improve the differentiation of benign from malignant thyroid nodules. Our cohort comprised 107 patients with 113 thyroid nodules, of which 67 (59%) were malignant. Two-dimensional SWE data were obtained using the Supersonic Imagine Aixplorer ultrasound system equipped with a 44- to 15-MHz15-MHz linear array transducer. A receiver operating characteristic curve was generated based on a multivariable logistic regression analysis to evaluate the ability of SWE parameters with/without fmass and with/without clinical factors to discriminate benign from malignant thyroid nodules. The addition of fmass to conventional SW elasticity parameters increased the area under the curve from 0.808 to 0.871 (p = 0.02). The combination of SW elasticity parameters plus fmass plus clinical factors provided the strongest thyroid nodule malignancy probability estimate, with a sensitivity of 93.4% and specificity of 91.1% at the optimal threshold. In summary, fmass can be a valuable addition to conventional 2-D SWE parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1663-1671
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The study was supported by Grant 1R01EB017213 from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. The NIH did not have any additional role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors


  • Mass characteristic frequency
  • Shear wave elastography
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Ultrasound
  • f

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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