Author(s): Erdoan MF, Kamel N, Aras D, Akdoan A, Bakal N,
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Abstract Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is the most useful procedure for the evaluation of thyroid nodules. The requirement for repeated aspirations in the follow-up of benign nodular thyroid disease, however, is controversial. To determine the value of re-aspirations in benign nodular thyroid disease, we studied 457 fine-needle reaspirations performed on 216 patients (197 female, 19 male) aged 42.9+/-12 years with uninodular (n = 65) and multinodular (n = 151) thyroid disease. Two hundred fifty-seven of these were second, 137 were third, 46 were fourth, and 17 were fifth re-aspirations of the same nodule, performed in a mean follow-up time of 43.9+/-31 (3-156) months. FNAC results were benign in 407 (89\%), insufficient for diagnosis in 31 (6.8\%), suspicious in 16 (3.5\%), and papillary carcinoma (PC) in 3 (0.7\%). An initial benign diagnosis did not change after multiple aspirations in 213 (98.61\%) of the cases. Three patients with initial aspirations read as benign had a diagnosis of PC from their second biopsies, (diagnosis confirmed at surgery). Re-examination of the initial FNAC revealed atypical features in 1 of the 3 patients. These 3 patients likely represent a false-negative result of the initial FNAC rather than benign nodular disease transformed to a malignant one during the follow-up period. In conclusion, a second aspiration of clinically suspicious nodules may correct a few initial false-negative results, but routine additional re-aspirations are not useful for clinically stable disease.
This article was published in Thyroid
and referenced in Journal of Thyroid Disorders & Therapy