Ultrasonographic characteristics as a criterion for repeat cytology in benign thyroid nodules

Características ultrassonográficas como critério para repetição da citologia em nódulos tireoidianos benignos

OBJECTIVE: To report the results of repeat fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in thyroid nodules with an initial benign cytological diagnosis that grow during follow-up and/or present suspicious ultrasonographic characteristics. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The sample consisted of 456 patients with 895 nodules. FNAC was repeated after 12 to 18 months in the case of nodules with suspicious ultrasonographic characteristics, irrespective of growth, and when the nodules showed significant growth. RESULTS: Among the 895 nodules examined, 102 (11.4%) presented suspicious ultrasonographic characteristics. The second FNAC revealed malignancy in 18 (17.6%) nodules, including 20% (2/10) of those showing growth and 17.4% (16/92) that did not. Seventy-six (9.6%) of 793 nodules without suspicious characteristics presented growth. Only one case (1.3%) of malignancy was diagnosed by repeat FNAC. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests ultrasonographic characteristics rather than growth as a criterion for repeat FNAC in the case of nodules with an initial benign cytological diagnosis.

Thyroid nodule; cytology; ultrasonography; growth

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