Introduction: Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy (FNA) is a method widely used in the assessment of thyroid nodules. The main aim of this 18-year retrospective study was the investigation of the diagnostic value of FNA in the approach of thyroid malignancy.
Subjects and methods: patients underwent 1938 FNAs from 1987 to 2004 in the Department of Endocrinology, Hippocration General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece. 178 of these patients subsequently underwent total or subtotal thyroid resection and a pathology report was available.
Results: Pathology reports are the gold standard for the diagnosis of thyroid malignancy. FNA shows a sensitivity of 76.2% and a specificity of 90.5%, with a significant degree of agreement between the two methods (Cohens method, P<0.05). There was a considerable improvement in the diagnostic value of FNA during the sub-period 19962004 as compared to the sub-period 19871995, probably due to increased experience of the persons performing and interpreting the FNA.
Conclusions: (1) FNA is a reliable diagnostic method in the initial assessment of thyroid malignancy, (2) a non-diagnostic FNA should always be repeated, (3) even after a cytological diagnosis of benign hyperplasia, meticulous follow-up is necessary and (4) increased experience of the persons performing or interpreting the FNA leads in improvement in the diagnostic value of FNA in the approach of thyroid malignancy.
01 - 05 Apr 2006
European Society of Endocrinology