Ultrasonography.  2022 Jan;41(1):25-33. 10.14366/usg.21117.

Analyzing the adoption of radiofrequency ablation of thyroid nodules using the diffusion of innovations theory: understanding where we are in the United States?

  • 1Section of Endocrine Surgery, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA


Thyroid nodules are very common and found in up to 68% of the general U.S. population on ultrasound. Although thyroidectomy has long been the mainstay of treatment for malignant and symptomatic benign thyroid nodules, various interventional ablative techniques have emerged in the last couple of decades as alternative non-surgical treatment options. Globally, the most widely adopted technique has been ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA of thyroid nodules was first performed in 2002, and there has been an expanding body of evidence since 2006 showing that RFA and other interventional ablative techniques are effective treatments for benign solid thyroid nodules, toxic adenomas, and thyroid cysts. More recently, evidence has emerged that these techniques may be effective treatment for low-risk thyroid cancer and recurrent disease. Despite these findings, the United States has been slow to adopt these techniques, with only a single publication on RFA more than a decade after the first series was published. EM Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Theory provides us the appropriate lens to carefully analyze the process of adoption of RFA for thyroid nodules-to understand where we are currently, as well as, the important next steps that must be accomplished in order for RFA and other ablative techniques to be successfully adopted into the management algorithm of thyroid nodules in the United States.


Thyroid radiofrequency ablation; Innovation; Adoption curve; Diffusion
Full Text Links
  • USG
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr