Evaluation of a dedicated ultrasound fine needle aspiration service for thyroid nodules

Chelsea Tan, Ilona Lavender, Amanda Naismith, Qui Nguyen, Ronnie Ptasznik, Dee Nandurkar, Jennifer Wong, Beena Kumar, Peter J. Fuller, Peter Robert Coombs, Michael Mond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Introduction: We studied whether: (1) a quality‐focused thyroid fine needle aspiration (FNA) service reduced the non‐diagnostic (ND) rate of FNA; (2) the implementation of thyroid FNA selection criteria resulted in higher proportion of Bethesda V and VI cytology and malignant histopathology; and (3) impact of radiologist's level of experience on ND rates.Method: The imaging and pathology computer databases were retrospectively searched for all patients who had thyroid FNAs at our hospitals from July 2004 to December 2016.Results: Three hundred thirty‐eight and 609 patients in pre‐thyroid and post‐thyroid service groups, respectively, were evaluated. The ND rate of 36.7% in pre‐thyroid service was significantly higher than post‐thyroid service at 14.6% (p < 0.0001). The rates of Bethesda V and VI cytology in the pre‐thyroid service group did not differ significantly from the post‐thyroid group (p = 0.266; p = 0.069). There was no significant difference in the histopathologic malignancy rates between the two groups (p = 0.531). There was no significant difference in the ND rates of radiologists with varying experience (p = 0.873).Discussion: On‐site cytology improved the ND rate of ultrasound‐guided thyroid FNA. Implementation of FNA selection criteria did not alter the rates of Bethesda V and VI cytology and malignant histopathology. The experience of radiologists did not significantly influence ND rates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-11
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

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