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September 1989

Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy of the Thyroid: Diagnostic Accuracy When Performing a Moderate Number of Such Procedures

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Endocrinology (Drs Dwarakanathan and Ryan), and the Department of General Surgery (Drs Staren, Martirano, and Economou), Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Intern Med. 1989;149(9):2007-2009. doi:10.1001/archinte.1989.00390090069014

• The diagnostic accuracy of fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the thyroid was evaluated. Between June 1982 and July 1987,354 fine-needle aspiration biopsies were performed on 289 patients with thyroid nodules. The ages of the patients ranged from 21 to 86 years (median, 45 years); 61 (21%) were men and 228 (79%) were women. Surgical confirmation of the cytologic diagnosis was obtained in 59 patients. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy identified 10% of the nodules as probably malignant and 10% as possibly malignant. Of these nodules, 30.5% were proved to be malignant by histologic examination. The accuracy of distinction between a benign (class I or II) or probably malignant (class IV) diagnosis was 95.2%. Patient acceptance of this procedure was good and complications were infrequent. These results indicate that fine-needle aspiration biopsy of the thyroid is accurate, safe, well tolerated, and easily applied, without its highly desirable features being compromised, even when a moderate number of such procedures are performed.

(Arch Intern Med. 1989;149:2007-2009)

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