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August 1987

The Role of Needle Aspiration Biopsy in the Selection of Patients for Thyroidectomy

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(8):809. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860080015002

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In a presentation at the Eastern Section Triological Society meeting, Jason B. Cohen, MD, New York, further defined the role of fine-needle aspiration in thyroid masses. Four hundred cases were evaluated; 211 of the patients involved underwent fine-needle aspiration. Sixty-four percent of the total group underwent surgery; 83 of these patients had fine-needle aspiration performed. The remaining 128 patients who had undergone fine-needle aspiration did not undergo surgery. The frozen-section results correlated well with those of fine-needle aspiration. It was the author's opinion that 50% of the patients benefited from the technique, including those in whom an unsuspected malignancy was detected (five patients) and those with benign nodules who avoided an unnecessary operation (114 patients). The author concluded that fine-needle aspiration is superfluous if there is a clinical suspicion of malignancy or in masses whose size alone mandates removal because of associated clinical symptoms.

For low-grade thyroid malignancies, controversy remains

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