Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 29, Issue 5, pp 423–426 | Cite as

The newly developed three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) thyroid ultrasound are strongly correlated, but 2D overestimates thyroid volume in the presence of nodules

  • T. Rago
  • W. Bencivelli
  • M. Scutari
  • C. Di Cosmo
  • C. Rizzo
  • P. Berti
  • P. Miccoli
  • A. Pinchera
  • P. Vitti
Original Articles


The newly developed three-dimensional (3D) and two-dimensional (2D) thyroid ultrasound (US) were compared in assessing thyroid volume (TV) in 104 patients: 53 had an isolated thyroid nodule, 32 toxic diffuse goiter, 17 non-toxic multi-nodular goiter, 1 toxic multinodular goiter and 1 a toxic adenoma. A real-time Technos apparatus (Esaote SpA, Italy) with a 7,5 MHz linear transducer was used. The volume of thyroid lobes by 2D was calculated according to the ellipsoid formula. In the same session, TV by 3D US was calculated using a probe tracking system (in vivo ScanNT Esaote 3.4 MedCom. Darmasdt) and software to reconstruct 3D images, directly giving the lobe volume. There was a very good agreement between 2D and 3D, but in 94/208 lobes with nodular lesions 2D showed a 10% systematic overestimation compared to 3D, the percentage error being higher in lobes with lower volumes. A possible explanation for this result is the inadequacy of the ellipsoid formula in forecasting the correct lobe profile in the presence of nodules. This intrinsic defect of 2D US should be taken into account when evaluating TV in patients with nodular goiter.


Thyroid ultrasonography three-dimensional (3D) ultrasound two-dimensional (2D) thyroid nodules 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Rago
    • 1
  • W. Bencivelli
    • 2
  • M. Scutari
    • 1
  • C. Di Cosmo
    • 1
  • C. Rizzo
    • 4
  • P. Berti
    • 3
  • P. Miccoli
    • 3
  • A. Pinchera
    • 1
  • P. Vitti
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Chemical EngineeringUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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