The use of core needle biopsy as first-line in diagnosis of thyroid nodules reduces false negative and inconclusive data reported by fine-needle aspiration

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Abstract

Background: The reported reliability of core needle biopsy (CNB) is high in assessing thyroid nodules after inconclusive fine-needle aspiration (FNA) attempts. However, first-line use of CNB for nodules considered at risk by ultrasonography (US) has yet to be studied. The aim of this study were: 1) to evaluate the potential merit of using CNB first-line instead of conventional FNA in thyroid nodules with suspicious ultrasonographic features; 2) to compare CNB and FNA as a first-line diagnostic procedure in thyroid lesions at higher risk of cancer. Methods: Seventy-seven patients with a suspicious-appearing, recently discovered solid thyroid nodule were initially enrolled as study participants. No patients had undergone prior thyroid fine-needle aspiration/biopsy. Based on study design, all patients were proposed to undergo CNB as first-line diagnostic aspiration, while those patients refusing to do so underwent conventional FNA. Results: Five patients refused the study, and a total of 31 and 41 thyroid nodules were subjected to CNB and FNA, respectively. At follow-up, the overall rate of malignancy was of 80% (CNB, 77%; FNA, 83%). However, the diagnostic accuracy of CNB (97%) was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than that of FNA (78%). In one benign lesion, CNB was inconclusive. Four (12%) of the 34 cancers of the FNA group were not initially diagnosed because of false negative (N = 1), indeterminate (N = 2) or not adequate (N = 1) samples. Conclusions: CNB can reduce the false negative and inconclusive results of conventional FNA and should be considered a first-line method in assessing solid thyroid nodules at high risk of malignancy. © 2014 Trimboli et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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Trimboli, P., Nasrollah, N., Guidobaldi, L., Taccogna, S., Cicciarella Modica, D. D., Amendola, S., … Crescenzi, A. (2014). The use of core needle biopsy as first-line in diagnosis of thyroid nodules reduces false negative and inconclusive data reported by fine-needle aspiration. World Journal of Surgical Oncology, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1477-7819-12-61

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