Value of Repeating a Nondiagnostic Thyroid Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy

Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Atlanta Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30312-1212, USA.
Endocrine Practice (Impact Factor: 2.81). 11/2007; 13(7):735-42. DOI: 10.4158/EP.13.7.735
Source: PubMed


To assess the value of repeating a biopsy when the initial thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy is nondiagnostic.
Between 1990 and 2003, 4,311 thyroid FNAs were performed at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, of which 220 (5%) were nondiagnostic. Among 189 patients whose medical records were available for retrospective review, 106 underwent a repeated FNA (FNA #2), and 14 had a second repeated FNA (FNA #3). Thyroid ultrasonography was used in the evaluation in 113 FNAs.
The first and second repeated FNAs were diagnostic in 58% (62 of 106 patients) and 50% (7 of 14 patients), respectively. The rate of malignant disease in patients with no repeated FNAs versus 1 or more repeated FNAs was 4.8% (4 of 83) versus 11.3% (12 of 106), respectively. Ultrasound-guided FNA yielded a diagnosis among 33 of 113 biopsies (29.2%), and FNA without ultrasound guidance provided a diagnosis in 30 of 159 biopsies (18.9%). Thus, the use of thyroid ultrasonography significantly improved the likelihood of establishing a diagnosis (P = 0.017). We found that repeating the FNA up to 2 times provides a diagnosis in up to 60% of cases.
The overall prevalence of thyroid cancer in patients with nondiagnostic FNA is not trivial--8.5% in our study group of 189 patients. An aggressive approach toward nondiagnostic FNA biopsies is recommended, with performance of at least 2 repeated FNA biopsies, preferably with the help of ultrasound guidance.

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    • "We did not have on-site assessment of FNA biopsies, a process that may have improved our diagnostic yield. In a recent study, Orija et al. reported the prevalence of thyroid cancer as 8.5% in patients with unsatisfactory FNAs and recommended the performance of at least two repeat FNA biopsies with ultrasound-guidance for initial inadequate smears [15]. As summarized in table 3, all published studies that compare palpation-guided with USG-guided FNAs show the superiority of the latter. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to compare the results of palpation-versus ultrasound-guided thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies. Clinical data, cytology and histopathology results were retrospectively analyzed on all patients who underwent thyroid FNA biopsy in our outpatient endocrinology clinic between January 1998 and April 2003. The same investigators performed all thyroid FNAs (ASC) and cytological evaluations (KP). Subjects in the ultrasound-guided group were older, otherwise there were no differences in baseline characteristics (gender, thyroid function, the frequency of multinodular goiter, nodule diameter and nodule location) between groups. Cytology results in nodules aspirated by palpation (n = 202) versus ultrasound guidance (n = 184) were as follows: malignant 2.0% versus 2.7% (p = 0.74), benign 69.8% versus 79.9% (p = 0.02), indeterminate 1.0% versus 4.9% (p = 0.02), inadequate 27.2% versus 12.5% (p < 0.01). Malignant results were compared with Fisher's exact test. Other cytology categories were compared with chi-square test. Eighteen patients from the palpation- and 23 from ultrasound-guided group underwent surgery. In the palpation-guided group, the sensitivity of FNA was 100%, specificity 94%, positive predictive value 67% and negative predictive value 100%. In the ultrasound-guided group, the sensitivity of FNA was 100%, specificity 80%, positive predictive value 73% and negative predictive value 100%. We demonstrate that ultrasound guidance for thyroid FNA significantly decreases inadequate for evaluation category. We also confirm the high sensitivity and specificity of thyroid FNA biopsy in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer. Where available, we recommend universal application of ultrasound guidance for thyroid FNA biopsy as a standard component of this diagnostic technique.
    BMC Research Notes 05/2008; 1(1):12. DOI:10.1186/1756-0500-1-12
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    Thyroid 02/2006; 16(2):143-150. DOI:10.1089/thy.2006.16.143 · 4.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The debate still continues on the repeated fine-needle aspiration biopsies (FNABs) for thyroid nodule in clinical practice. In this study, we determined the rate of cytological change to malignancy and the diagnostic concordance of repeated FNABs when the same nodules were targeted under US-guidance. We retrospectively reviewed data for 187 thyroid nodules (173: twice, 14: three times) from 160 patients who underwent repeated US-guided FNABs, which were performed by one skillful radiologist targeting for the same nodules at a mean interval of 7.5 months. Their initial cytological findings were compared with second or third results and histopathologic follow-up. The initial FNABs findings of 187 nodules were unsatisfactory, benign, and indeterminate in 56, 52, and 79 cases, respectively. The rate of a second cytological diagnosis changed to malignancy was significantly higher in the unsatisfactory aspirates (10.7%; 6/56), when compared with those of the benign (0.0%; 0/52) or of indeterminate aspirates (3.8%; 3/79) (P = 0.022). However, there was no change to malignancy at third cytological findings of all 14 nodules. After the second US-guided FNABs, 30.8% (16/52) of the initially diagnosed as benign aspirates were reclassified as indeterminate, while 26.6% (21/79) of the initially diagnosed as indeterminate were reclassified as benign. In conclusion, to identify malignancies, repeated US-guided FNABs are recommended for thyroid nodules initially classified as unsatisfactory aspirates. However, although US-guidance is applied, a discrepancy might be unavoidable in the cytological interpretation of the nodules classified as benign or as indeterminate aspirates because of overlapping cytological criteria.
    Diagnostic Cytopathology 07/2009; 37(7):492-7. DOI:10.1002/dc.21043 · 1.12 Impact Factor
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