Quantitative Shear Wave Velocity Measurement on Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Elastography for Differential Diagnosis between Benign and Malignant Thyroid Nodules: A Meta-analysis

Bo Ji Liu, Dan Dan Li, Hui Xiong Xu, Le Hang Guo, Yi Feng Zhang, Jun Mei Xu, Chang Liu, Lin Na Liu, Xiao Long Li, Xiao Hong Xu, Shen Qu, Mingzhao Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance of quantitative shear wave velocity (SWV) measurement on acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) elastography for differentiation between benign and malignant thyroid nodules using meta-analysis. The databases of PubMed and the Web of Science were searched. Studies published in English on assessment of the sensitivity and specificity of ARFI elastography for the differentiation of thyroid nodules were collected. The quantitative measurement of ARFI elastography was evaluated by SWV (m/s). Meta-Disc Version 1.4 software was used to describe and calculate the sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, diagnostic odds ratio and summary receiver operating characteristic curves. We analyzed a total of 13 studies, which included 1,854 thyroid nodules (including 1,339 benign nodules and 515 malignant nodules) from 1,641 patients. The summary sensitivity and specificity for differential diagnosis between benign and malignant thyroid nodules by SWV were 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.77-0.84) and 0.84 (95% CI: 0.81-0.86), respectively. The pooled positive and negative likelihood ratios were 5.21 (95% CI: 3.56-7.62) and 0.23 (95% CI: 0.17-0.32), respectively. The pooled diagnostic odds ratio was 27.53 (95% CI: 14.58-52.01), and the area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.91 (. Q* = 0.84). In conclusion, SWV measurement on ARFI elastography has high sensitivity and specificity for differential diagnosis between benign and malignant thyroid nodules and can be used in combination with conventional ultrasound.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3035-3043
Number of pages9
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015



  • Acoustic radiation force impulse
  • Meta-analysis
  • Shear wave elastography
  • Shear wave velocity
  • Thyroid nodules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

Cite this