Different radiomics features can help differentiate between medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) nodules of different sizes, according to a new study published in Clinical Medicine Insights: Oncology.

Analyzing different combinations of radiomics features can lead to better diagnostic efficiency compared to single radiomics features and is a more reliable approach for the diagnosis of thyroid carcinoma, the authors said.

To compare the efficiency of different radiomics approaches to differentiate between MTC and PTC, researchers from China analyzed 86 MTC nodules and 330 PTC nodules. They divided the nodules into 2 groups based on size: those that were larger than 10 mm and those that were equal to or smaller than 10 mm in diameter.

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They then analyzed the radiomics features of these nodules with the aim of identifying independent prognosis factors and evaluating the efficacy of individual and combined indicators in predicting the type of tumor.

Read more about MTC differential diagnosis

The results showed that 12 radiomics features were significantly different between the 2 types of tumors when they were bigger than 10 mm and 6 were different when they were 10 mm or smaller.

There were 5 single indicators that were independently associated with the differential diagnoses of MTC and PTC nodules bigger than 10 mm. These were the 2D-sphericity, skewness, and nonuniformity measured in 3 different ways. The area under the curve, sensitivity, and specificity of the indicators usually increased when they were used in combination.

The researchers identified 2 features, entropy, and nonuniformity, as independent factors associated with the differential diagnoses of the 2 types of tumors that were 10 mm or smaller. Similarly, when the combination of these 2 indicators was used, the area under the curve and sensitivity and specificity either remained the same or increased.


Zhao L, Ma B. Radiomics features of different sizes of medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) tumors: a comparative study. Clin Med Insights Oncol. Published online May 15, 2022. doi:10.1177/11795549221097675