The TIRADS Calculator is a scoring system that uses ultrasound features such as composition, echogenicity, shape, margin, and echogenic foci to determine how suspicious a thyroid nodule is of malignancy. It is an online resource for the Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (TIRADS), complete with images and descriptions of different ultrasound features. The TIRADS Calculator was developed to reduce the overdiagnosis of thyroid cancer and the number of biopsies performed on benign nodules. In practice, the TIRADS Calculator is a useful decision aid to determine whether or not a biopsy is appropriate.
TIRADS Scoring Criteria
The TIRADS Calculator uses five criteria in its determination: (1) composition, (2) echogenicity, (3) shape, (4) margin, and (5) echogenic foci. The composition refers to how cystic or solid the nodule is, the echogenicity is determined by whether the ultrasound is anechoic, isoechoic, or hypoechoic, the shape and margin are established by the physical appearance of the nodule, and the echogenic foci is related to the calcifications. Using ultrasound imaging will help discover the features of the nodule. Each feature corresponds to a number of points which are used to calculate a score for the thyroid nodule. The TIRADS Calculator adds up the points to score the TIRADS level, ranging from benign to highly suspicious. A lower point total indicates that the thyroid nodule is benign or less suspicious while a higher point total indicates a suspicious nodule that may be malignant.
TIRADS Score and Decision to Biopsy
Depending on the score from the TIRADS Calculator, fine needle aspiration (FNA) may be used to test for a malignant thyroid nodule. A thyroid FNA is a simple biopsy procedure that uses a small needle to collect a sample from the nodule.
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