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Sound medicine at Acoustics Meeting
Date:11/13/2007

aging method for evaluating the thyroid gland. However, ultrasound and other imaging results are often ambiguous and cannot differentiate between malignant and benign thyroid nodules. The overwhelming majority of nodules discovered by ultrasound (as high as 95 percent) are benign.

Often, the only way to definitively rule out a cancer diagnosis is through fine needle aspiration and biopsy. More than half these biopsies prove benign. While that may be reassuring to the people who undergo the biopsies, it would be better if they could receive that reassurance without having an expensive, invasive, and (as it turned out) unnecessary procedure.

Azra Alizad (Alizad.Azra@mayo.edu) of Mayo Clinic College of Medicine will be presenting data on a novel non-invasive imaging technique called vibro-acoustography (VA) for identifying thyroid nodules in excised human thyroids imbedded in tissue gel. In this method, ultrasound is used to vibrate tissue at low frequencies, and the resulting vibrations can be detected by a sensitive microphone. Harder tissues normally produce a significantly different acoustic field than softer tissues, and detecting the difference may reveal a more definitive diagnosis. Malignant lesions are stiffer than benign lesions; therefore it is reasonable to expect that VA will be a better tool for detection and differentiation of thyroid nodules than the conventional ultrasound imaging.

While the technique is not yet tested for actually detecting thyroid cancers in clinical trials, vibro-acoustography is currently undergoing clinical evaluation for detecting breast cancer lesions in people. If successful, this inexpensive and non-invasive imaging tool would represent a major advance in our ability to provide care for people with potential cancer.

The talk Vibro-acoustography of the thyroid (3pBB3) will be at 2:05 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29.

3) MRI-GUIDED ULTRASOUND THERAPY'/>"/>

Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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