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Langenbecks Arch Surg. 2011 Jan;396(1):77-81. doi: 10.1007/s00423-010-0723-1. Epub 2010 Oct 30.

Diagnostic value of thyroglobulin measurement in fine-needle aspiration biopsy for detecting metastatic lymph nodes in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma.

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Department of Radiology, Istanbul Medical Faculty, Istanbul University, Çapa, Istanbul, Turkey.



We aimed to compare the diagnostic value of fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and fine-needle aspiration thyroglobulin measurements (FNA-Tg) for detecting cervical lymph node metastases from differentiated thyroid carcinomas.


This prospective study included 225 patients with neck node metastases or recurrences of papillary thyroid carcinoma. From the 225 patients, 255 lymph nodes were evaluated by FNAC and FNA-Tg. Final diagnoses confirmed by histological examination were compared to preoperative FNAC and FNA-Tg results.


FNAC correctly diagnosed 212 metastatic lymph nodes but failed to diagnose 43 of them. FNA-Tg correctly diagnosed 253 metastatic lymph nodes but failed to diagnose two of them. FNA-Tg levels showed 100% sensitivity, 96% specificity, 99% diagnostic accuracy, a 99% positive predictive value (PPV) and a 100% negative predictive value (NPV) with a threshold level of FNA-Tg with a diagnostic accuracy 28.5 ng/ml. The specificity, diagnostic accuracy, PPV and NPV of FNA-Tg were significantly higher than those of FNAC.


FNA-Tg measurement can be performed safely for the detection of lymph node metastasis in patients with differentiated thyroid carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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