The American College of Radiology (ACR) Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (TI-RADS) is an ultrasound-based risk stratification system (RSS) for thyroid nodules that was released in 2017. Since publication, research has shown that ACR TI-RADS has a higher specificity than other RSSs and reduces the number of unnecessary biopsies of benign nodules compared with other systems by 19.9-46.5%. The risk of missing significant cancers using ACR TI-RADS is mitigated by the follow-up recommendations for nodules that do not meet criteria for biopsy. In practice, after a nodule's ultrasound features have been enumerated, the ACR TI-RADS points-based approach leads to clear management recommendations. Practices seeking to implement ACR TI-RADS must engage their radiologists in understanding how the system addresses the problems of thyroid cancer overdiagnosis and unnecessary surgeries by reducing unnecessary biopsies. This review compares ACR TI-RADS to other RSSs and explores key clinical questions faced by practices considering its implementation. We also address the challenge of reducing interobserver variability in assigning ultrasound features. Finally, we highlight emerging imaging techniques and recognize the ongoing international effort to develop a system that harmonizes multiple RSSs, including ACR TI-RADS.
- Thyroid cancer
- Thyroid nodule
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging