SUMMARY OF THE STUDY
A total of 199 patients with suspicious or dominant thyroid nodules who had thyroid biopsy between March 2015 and May 2016 at a single institution were included in the study. For each patient a thyroid ultrasound was initially performed in the office and the nodule was classified in a risk category: high, intermediate, low, very low or benign, based on the guidelines mentioned above. Subsequently, biopsy of the nodules was performed. In total, 64 patients had thyroid surgery because of the biopsy result or because of the large size of the nodule.
The study showed that the nodules that were found to be cancer or suspicious for cancer by biopsy correlated with the following ultrasound risk pattern: high (77%), intermediate (6%), low (1%) and very low (0%). Among the 71 nodules that were indeterminate by biopsy, 52 were removed by surgery. Their cancer rates correlated with the following ultrasound risk pattern: high (100%), intermediate (21%), low (17%) and very low (12%). Overall, this study found a good correlation between the ultrasound risk pattern categories established by the 2015 American Thyroid Association guidelines and the pathology results in the patients studied.
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS STUDY?
This is an important study as it reinforces the validity of the recommendations made by the American Thyroid Association and helps to encourage physicians to use these guidelines when treating their patients with thyroid nodules. It is essential to consider the ultrasound appearance of thyroid nodules when determining the appropriate management for each patient. It is especially important to take into consideration that the high suspicion ultrasound pattern for thyroid nodules is highly predictive of thyroid cancer.
— Maria Papaleontiou, MD
ATA THYROID BROCHURE LINKS
Thyroid Nodules: https://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-nodules/
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy of Thyroid Nodules: https://www.thyroid.org/fna-thyroid-nodules/