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March 1989

Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy of the Thyroid Nodule: Results of a Start-up Project in a General Teaching Hospital Setting

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Pepper and Zwickler) and Pathology (Dr Rosen), Brookdale Hospital Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY. Dr Pepper is now with the Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Long Island Jewish Medical Center.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(3):594-596. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390030080015

• The results of the initial 102 fine-needle aspiration biopsies of the thyroid performed at a 795-bed general teaching hospital are reported. Eighty-four of the nodules (82%) were cytologically benign, 18 nodules (18%) were suspicious, and none of the nodules was diagnosed as malignant. Five nodules in the suspicious group (28%) were found to be malignant following microscopic examination of the surgical specimens. There was one false-negative result. Based on the data from 21 patients with both cytologic and histologic diagnoses, the positive predictive value of this procedure was 38% and the negative predictive value was 87% (sensitivity, 83%; specificity, 47%). Our results were comparable with those of major referral centers. Guidelines for establishing a fine-needle aspiration biopsy program at a general hospital are suggested.

(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:594-596)