Clinician Agreement on the Classification of Thyroid Nodules Ultrasound Features: A Survey of 2 Endocrine Societies

Nydia Burgos, Jing Zhao, Juan P. Brito, Jenny K. Hoang, Fabian Pitoia, Spyridoula Maraka, M. Regina Castro, Ji Hyun Lee, Naykky Singh Ospina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Thyroid nodule risk stratification allows clinicians to standardize the evaluation of thyroid cancer risk according to ultrasound features. Objective: To evaluate interrater agreement among clinicians assessing thyroid nodules ultrasound features and thyroid cancer risk categories. Design, setting, and participants: We surveyed Endocrine Society and Latin American Thyroid Society members to assess their interpretation of composition, echogenicity, shape, margins, and presence of echogenic foci of 10 thyroid nodule cases. The risk category for thyroid cancer was calculated following the American College of Radiology-Thyroid Imaging Reporting & Data System (ACR-TIRADS) framework from individual responses. Main Outcomes and Measures: We used descriptive statistics and Gwet's agreement coefficient (AC1) to assess the primary outcome of interrater agreement for ACR-TIRADS risk category. As secondary outcomes, the interrater agreement for individual features and a subgroup analysis of interrater agreement for the ACR-TIRADS category were performed (ultrasound reporting system, type of practice, and number of monthly appraisals). Results: A total of 144 participants were included, mostly endocrinologists. There was moderate level of agreement for the absence of echogenic foci (AC1 0.53, 95% CI 0.24-0.81) and composition (AC1 0.54, 95% CI 0.36-0.71). The agreement for margins (AC1 0.24, 95% CI 0.15-0.33), echogenicity (AC1 0.34, 95% CI 0.22-0.46), and shape assessment (AC1 0.42, 95% CI 0.13-0.70) was lower. The overall agreement for ACR-TIRADS assessment was AC1 0.29, (95% CI 0.13-0.45). The AC1 of ACR-TIRADS among subgroups was similar. Conclusions: This study found high variation of judgments about ACR-TIRADS risk category and individual features, which poses a potential challenge for the widescale implementation of thyroid nodule risk stratification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E3288-E3294
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2022


  • reproducibility
  • thyroid cancer
  • thyroid nodules

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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