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October 17, 1980

Postirradiation Screening for Thyroid Nodules

Author Affiliations

The Robert Packer Hospital The Donald Guthrie Medical Center Sayre, Pa

JAMA. 1980;244(16):1782. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310160010003

To the Editor.—  The letter by Refetoff et al (243:1131, 1980), commenting on our report of the "Value of Postirradiation Screening for Thyroid Nodules," addresses the following two issues: the study itself and the publicity given to the study by the media. We would like the opportunity to comment on both.First, our study is, despite their contention, unique. It is the only one in which irradiated and nonirradiated persons were examined concurrently by physicians who were unaware of the medical history of the examinees. This control is vital in clinical investigation where the end point is not always clear and the observers may be biased.Second, they allege that our examination was not "by any stretch of the imagination, a complete or even an optimal screening program." To this we can reply only that the procedures we followed were those recommended by the National Cancer Institute.1 Our procedures