Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title



Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common thyroid cancer worldwide and is known to spread to adjacent neck lymphatics. Lymph node metastasis (LNM) is a known predictor of disease recurrence and is an indicator for aggressive resection. Our study aims to determine if ultrasound sonographers’ degree of training influences overall LNM detection. PubMed, Embase, and Scopus articles were searched and screened for relevant articles. Two investigators independently screened and extracted the data. Diagnostic test parameters were determined for all studies, studies reported by radiologists, and studies reported by non-radiologists. The total sample size amounted to 5768 patients and 10,030 lymph nodes. Radiologists performed ultrasounds in 18 studies, while non-radiologists performed ultrasounds in seven studies, corresponding to 4442 and 1326 patients, respectively. The overall sensitivity of LNM detection by US was 59% (95%CI = 58–60%), and the overall specificity was 85% (95%CI = 84–86%). The sensitivity and specificity of US performed by radiologists were 58% and 86%, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of US performed by non-radiologists were 62% and 78%, respectively. Summary receiver operating curve (sROC) found radiologists and non-radiologists to detect LNM on US with similar accuracy (p = 0.517). Our work suggests that both radiologists and non-radiologists alike detect overall LNM with high accuracy on US.





Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

File Format


File Size

2089 KB

Included in

Radiology Commons