Testing telediagnostic thyroid ultrasound in Peru: a new horizon in expanding access to imaging in rural and underserved areas

T. J. Marini, S. L. Weiss, A. Gupta, Y. T. Zhao, T. M. Baran, B. Garra, I. Shafiq, D. C. Oppenheimer, M. S. Egoavil, R. L. Ortega, R. A. Quinn, J. Kan, A. M. Dozier, L. Tamayo, C. Carlotto, B. Castaneda

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

19 Citas (Scopus)


Purpose: Thyroid ultrasound is a key tool in the evaluation of the thyroid, but billions of people around the world lack access to ultrasound imaging. In this study, we tested an asynchronous telediagnostic ultrasound system operated by individuals without prior ultrasound training which may be used to effectively evaluate the thyroid and improve access to imaging worldwide. Methods: The telediagnostic system in this study utilizes volume sweep imaging (VSI), an imaging technique in which the operator scans the target region with simple sweeps of the ultrasound probe based on external body landmarks. Sweeps are recorded and saved as video clips for later interpretation by an expert. Two operators without prior ultrasound experience underwent 8 h of training on the thyroid VSI protocol and the operation of the telemedicine platform. After training, the operators scanned patients at a health center in Lima. Telediagnostic examinations were sent to the United States for remote interpretation. Standard of care thyroid ultrasound was performed by an experienced radiologist at the time of VSI examination to serve as a reference standard. Results: Novice operators scanned 121 subjects with the thyroid VSI protocol. Of these exams, 88% were rated of excellent image quality showing complete or near complete thyroid visualization. There was 98.3% agreement on thyroid nodule presence between VSI teleultrasound and standard of care ultrasound (Cohen’s kappa 0.91, P < 0.0001). VSI measured the thyroid size, on average, within 5 mm compared to standard of care. Readers of VSI were also able to effectively characterize thyroid nodules, and there was no significant difference in measurement of thyroid nodule size (P = 0.74) between VSI and standard of care. Conclusion: Thyroid VSI telediagnostic ultrasound demonstrated both excellent visualization of the thyroid gland and agreement with standard of care thyroid ultrasound for nodules and thyroid size evaluation. This system could be deployed for evaluation of palpable thyroid abnormalities, nodule follow-up, and epidemiological studies to promote global health and improve the availability of diagnostic imaging in underserved communities.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)2699-2708
Número de páginas10
PublicaciónJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
EstadoPublicada - dic. 2021


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