European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology

, Volume 274, Issue 7, pp 2891–2897 | Cite as

Computer-aided diagnosis of malignant or benign thyroid nodes based on ultrasound images

  • Qin Yu
  • Tao Jiang
  • Aiyun ZhouEmail author
  • Lili Zhang
  • Cheng Zhang
  • Pan Xu
Head and Neck


The objective of this study is to evaluate the diagnostic value of combination of artificial neural networks (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM)-based CAD systems in differentiating malignant from benign thyroid nodes with gray-scale ultrasound images. Two morphological and 65 texture features extracted from regions of interest in 610 2D-ultrasound thyroid node images from 543 patients (207 malignant, 403 benign) were used to develop the ANN and SVM models. Tenfold cross validation evaluated their performance; the best models showed accuracy of 99% for ANN and 100% for SVM. From 50 thyroid node ultrasound images from 45 prospectively enrolled patients, the ANN model showed sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, Youden index, and accuracy of 88.24, 90.91, 83.33, 93.75, 79.14, and 90.00%, respectively, the SVM model 76.47, 90.91, 81.25, 88.24, 67.38, and 86.00%, respectively, and in combination 100.00, 87.88, 80.95, 100.00, 87.88, and 92.00%, respectively. Both ANN and SVM had high value in classifying thyroid nodes. In combination, the sensitivity increased but specificity decreased. This combination might provide a second opinion for radiologists dealing with difficult to diagnose thyroid node ultrasound images.


Thyroid neoplasms Diagnosis Computer-assisted Ultrasonography 


Compliance with ethical standards



Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qin Yu
    • 1
  • Tao Jiang
    • 1
  • Aiyun Zhou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Lili Zhang
    • 1
  • Cheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Pan Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of UltrasonographyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang UniversityNanchangChina

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