The accuracy of fine-needle aspiration biopsy and frozen section in patients with thyroid cancer

Ting I. Lee, Hong Jyi Yang, Shih Yi Lin, Mei Tze Lee, Hong Da Lin, Lewis E. Braverman, Kam Tsun Tang

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32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A total of 1076 patients with thyroid nodules were reviewed. The accuracy of fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) and frozen section (FS) were compared and clinical risk factors were analyzed. Our results indicate that 67.9% are benign and 32.1% are malignant with the predominance of papillary thyroid cancer (75.1%). Overall diagnostic accuracy for FNAB and FS were 90.8%-91.2% and 89.1%-90.5%, respectively. There were no significant differences between the diagnostic accuracy on FNAB and FS in all tumors except the follicular adenoma and carcinoma. The diagnostic accuracy of FS was higher than FNAB in patients with follicular adenoma (89.3% vs. 58.9%, p <0.001) and but lower than FNAB in patients with follicular carcinoma (46.2% vs. 92.3%, p <0.001). In conclusion, FNAB is cost effective in the preoperative evaluation of thyroid nodule. FS could be eliminated in most cases except with follicular and Hürthle cell neoplasms. FS is valuable when result of FNAB is suspicious or unavailable. FS is more appropriate in deciding the extent of thyroidectomy in follicular neoplasm and FNAB is more reliable initial approach to surgery in patients with Hürthle cell neoplasm. Clinical risk factors may help in selecting patients for surgery but cannot exceed FS in deciding the extent of thyroidectomy in patients with follicular and Hürthle cell neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-626
Number of pages8
JournalThyroid
Volume12
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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