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Indications And Limits Of Ultrasound-guided Cytology In The Management Of Nonpalpable Thyroid Nodules.
Published 1999 · Medicine
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Although ultrasound (US)-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is widely prescribed in nonpalpable thyroid nodules, the goal of this study was to define precisely the indications and limits of US-FNAB in a series of 450 nonpalpable nodules. Among 94 surgically controlled cases, 20 (8 infracentimetric and 12 centimetric or supracentimetric) carcinomas were diagnosed. The diagnosis of malignancy was successfully made by US-FNAB in 16 of 20 carcinomas, 3 were missed because of insufficient cytological material, and 1 was misdiagnosed. US-FNAB sensitivity and specificity were 94% and 63%, respectively. A logistic model indicated that nodule size (P < 0.6) was not associated with histological diagnosis, but that solid hypoechoic features were more likely to be malignant (P < 0.0003), with US sensitivity and specificity for malignancy of 80% and 70%, respectively. Logistic regression indicated that adequate cytological material significantly increased with nodule size (P < 0.0001). This result outlined the limits of US-FNAB in small nodules. Hence, indication of US-FNAB appears judicious in centimetric or supracentimetric nodules or in solid and hypoechoic ones. Such a management would allow the discovery of 15 of 20 carcinomas and would avoid 16% of unnecessary biopsies.