Characterization of benign thyroid nodules with HyperSPACE (Hyper Spectral Analysis for Characterization in Echography) before and after percutaneous laser ablation: a pilot study

Simona Granchi, Enrico Vannacci, Elena Biagi


Aims: To evaluate the capability of the HyperSPACE (Hyper SPectral Analysis for Characterization in Echography) method in tissue characterization, in order to provide information for the laser treatment of benign thyroid nodules in respect of conventional B-mode images and elastography.

Material and methods: The method, based on the spectral analysis of the raw radiofrequency ultrasonic signal, was applied to characterize the nodule before and after laser treatment. Thirty patients (25 females and 5 males, age between 37 and 81 years) with thyroid benign nodule at cytology (Thyr 2) were evaluated by conventional ultrasonography, elastography, and HyperSPACE, before and after laser ablation.

Results: The images processed by HyperSPACE exhibit different color distributions that are referred to different tissue features. By calculating the percentages of the color coverages, the analysed nodules were subdivided into 3 groups. Each nodule belonging to the same group experienced, on average, similar necrosis extension. The nodules exhibit different Configurations (colors) distributions that could be indicative of the response of nodular tissue to the laser treatment

Conclusions: HyperSPACEcan characterize benign nodules by providing additional information in respect of conventional ultrasound and elastography which is useful for support in the laser treatment of nodules in order to increase the probability of success.


ultrasonography; signal processing; cluster analysis; laser therapy; thyroid nodule

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