Thyroid nodule characterization using Spectral Detector Computed Tomography (SDCT) in comparison to ultrasound

Hila Tal Tamir, Dana Stav, Yitzhac Hadad, Rivka Kessner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To characterize thyroid nodules seen on Spectral Detector computed tomography (SDCT) in respect to their Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (TI-RADS) category on Ultrasound (US). Methods: We included patients that underwent US examination for the evaluation of thyroid nodules and contrast-enhanced SDCT examination of the neck/thorax, between the years 2018–2020. The SDCT and US were performed within 6 months of each other. Only patients with a visible thyroid nodule on SDCT were included. Attenuation measurements of the nodules in Hounsfield units (HU) were performed on the conventional CT images, virtual non-contrast (VNC) images and virtual monoenergetic images of 40 keV and 100 keV. The Iodine concentration, spectral slope and enhancement estimation results of the nodules were measured. We compared the spectral results between two groups of nodules, according to the US report: TI-RADS 2–3 and TI-RADS 4–5 groups. Results: Thirty-eight nodules were included in the study, 22 nodules in the TI-RADS 2–3 group and 16 in the TI-RADS 4–5 group. The nodules of the TI-RADS 4–5 group had significantly higher Iodine concentration measurement, 4.6 ± 1.8 mg/ml, compared to 2.3 ± 1.2 mg/ml in the TI-RADS 2–3 group; significantly higher estimated enhancement, 3.9 ± 1.5, compared to 2.2 ± 0.7; and significantly higher calculated spectral slope, 5.6 ± 2.2 compared to 2.9 ± 1.5 (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Spectral results of SDCT may assist in differentiating intermediate-high risk (TI-RADS 4–5) from low risk (TI-RADS 2–3) thyroid nodules. Advances in knowledge: SDCT offers additional information for the characterization of thyroid nodules.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111213
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Dual energy CT
  • Spectral detector computed tomography
  • Thyroid imaging reporting and data system
  • Thyroid nodule


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