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Ultrasound elastography of the thyroid: principles and current status
Chong-Ke Zhao1,2,3 , Hui-Xiong Xu1,2,3
1Department of Medical Ultrasound, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Ultrasound Research and Education Institute, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
2Thyroid Institute, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
3Shanghai Center for Thyroid Diseases, Shanghai, China
Corresponding Author: Hui-Xiong Xu ,Tel: +86-21-66307539, Fax: +86-21-66301031, Email: xuhuixiong@126.com
Received: July 16, 2018;  Accepted: October 1, 2018.  Published online: October 1, 2018.
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Ultrasound (US) elastography has been introduced as a non-invasive technique for evaluating thyroid diseases. This paper presents a detailed description of the technical principles, peculiarities, and limitations of US elastography techniques, including strain elastography and shear-wave elastography. This review was conducted from a clinical perspective, and aimed to assess the usefulness of US elastography for thyroid diseases in specific clinical scenarios. Although its main focus is on thyroid nodules, the applications of US elastography for other thyroid diseases, such as diffuse thyroid diseases and thyroiditis, are also presented. Furthermore, unresolved questions and directions for future research are also discussed.
Keywords: Ultrasound; Elasticity imaging techniques; Strain elastography; Shear-wave elastography; Thyroid diseases; Thyroid nodule
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