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Acta Cytol. 2003 Sep-Oct;47(5):727-32.

Clinicopathologic analysis of fine needle aspiration cytology of the thyroid. A review of 1,613 cases and correlation with histopathologic diagnoses.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Hospital, Gwangju, Republic of Korea.



To evaluate the accuracy of fine needle aspiration (FNA) of thyroid lesions at our institution and to ascertain its usefulness in determining the therapeutic approach.


The authors reviewed the results of 1,613 cases of FNA cytology of thyroid nodules performed from 1999 to 2001 at the Department of Pathology, Chonnam National University Hospital. Cytologic diagnoses were compared with histologic diagnoses in 207 cases that included both FNA and thyroid surgery.


The sensitivity for the detection of neoplasms (carcinoma and follicular adenoma) was 78.4% and the specificity 98.2%. A false positive diagnosis was made in 1 case (1.8%) and false negative ones in 28 cases (21.5%). The diagnostic accuracy was 84.4%, with a positive predictive value of 99.0% and negative predictive value of 66.3%. The predictive value of a cytologic diagnosis was 100% in papillary carcinoma.


FNA is a useful test in determining the therapeutic approach of thyroid lesions.

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