November 7, 2017 --
Among thyroid cancer screening techniques, ultrasound followed by fine-needle aspiration biopsy is the most widely used. But about 5% of these biopsies are inconclusive, according to a team led by Dr. Vikram Dogra. Using thyroid tissue samples, Dogra's group conducted a study to determine whether a hybrid multispectral photoacoustic and ultrasound imaging system could detect and characterize thyroid lesions.
The researchers developed an ultrasound transducer that included a photoacoustic light delivery system and an acoustic lens that allowed for real-time frontal-plane imaging of the tissue. The technology's specificity for detecting and characterizing thyroid lesions was greater than 96%, leading the group to conclude that combining photoacoustic imaging with ultrasound could be an effective way to locate these nodules and determine whether they are cancerous or benign.