Machine learning may aid reading of thyroid ultrasound

By Erik L. Ridley, AuntMinnie staff writer September 27, 2016 — Can machine-learning techniques perform better than a radiologist in differentiating between malignant and thyroid nodules on ultrasound? It depends on the experience level of the radiologist, according to research published in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. After developing and testing three machine-learning algorithms in a retrospective review of nearly 1,000 cases of thyroid nodules, a Chinese research team found that all three algorithms were more accurate than an inexperienced radiologist in differentiating between malignant and thyroid nodules on ultrasound. However, despite producing slightly higher sensitivity, the highest performing algorithm couldn’t surpass the diagnostic performance of the experienced radiologist who provided the readings used to train the algorithms (AJR, Vol. 207:4, pp.859-864). Such an algorithm could…


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