Background: Radiofrequency ablation has been advocated as an alternative to radioiodine and/or surgery for the treatment of autonomously functioning benign thyroid nodules. However, only a few studies have measured radiofrequency ablation efficacy on autonomously functioning benign thyroid nodules. The aim of this work was to evaluate the 24-month efficacy of a single session of radiofrequency ablation (performed with the moving shot technique) on solitary autonomously functioning benign thyroid nodules.
Methods: Thirty patients with a single, benign autonomously functioning thyroid nodule, who were either unwilling or ineligible to undergo surgery and radioiodine, were treated with radiofrequency ablation between April 2012 and May 2015. All the patients underwent a single radiofrequency ablation, performed with the 18-gauge needle and the moving shot technique. Clinical, laboratory, and ultrasound evaluations were scheduled at baseline, and after 1, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months from the procedure.
Results: A single radiofrequency ablation reduced thyroid nodule volume by 51, 63, 69, 75%, and 76% after 1, 3, 6,12, and 24 months, respectively. This was associated with a significant improvement of local cervical discomfort and cosmetic score. As for thyroid function, 33% of the patients went into remission after 3 months, 43% after 6 months, 50% after 12 months, and 70% after 24 months from the procedure. This study demonstrates that a single radiofrequency ablation allowed us to withdraw anti-thyroid medication in the majority of patients, who remained euthyroid afterwards.
Conclusions: This study shows that a single radiofrequency ablation was effective in 70% of patients with autonomously functioning benign thyroid nodules. Most importantly, patients responded gradually to the treatment, such that it is possible that longer follow-up studies might show greater response rates.
20 - 23 May 2017
European Society of Endocrinology