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J Cancer. 2017 Feb 25;8(5):754-760. doi: 10.7150/jca.17655. eCollection 2017.

Evaluation of the safety and efficacy of radiofrequency ablation for treating benign thyroid nodules.

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Department of Interventional Oncology, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China.


Background: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a relatively new procedure for treating benign thyroid nodules. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of RFA for treating benign thyroid nodules so as to serve as a reference for future clinical practice. Methods: This study retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of patients receiving percutaneous RFA for treating thyroid nodules from November 2014 to July 2015 in our medical center. One hundred and eight patients with a total of 380 nodules received ultrasound-guided RFA for treating thyroid nodules. Comparisons of the volume change of thyroid nodules before and after RFA treatment, post-treatment complication, and change of thyroid function, were carried out afterwards. Results: Before treatments, all patients received fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNA) which supported the diagnosis of benign tumor. There were 13 males and 95 females included in the study. Twenty-six cases (24.07%) had single nodule, and 82 cases (75.93%) had multiple nodules. Before treatments, the thyroid functions (FT3, FT4, and TSH) were normal originally or adjusted to normal range by endocrinology treatment. The preoperative nodules had minimum volume of 0.01mL, maximum volume of 70.89 mL, and mean volume of 1.02 ± 4.24mL. The volume of nodules one month and three months after RFA were 0.29 ± 0.72mL and 0.15 ± 0.87mL, respectively. In addition, volume reduction ratio (VRR) of nodules one month and three months after RFA were 64.12% and 85.54%, respectively. Both volume of nodules and VRR had statistically significant differences for pre-operative and post-operative comparison (P<0.05). Thyroid functions were in normal range after treatments, and there was no serious complications. Conclusions: Ultrasound-guided RFA treating benign thyroid nodules had the advantages of definite efficacy, safety, strong in control ability, no incision, less damage to surrounding normal tissues and no effect on thyroid function. It can be used as one of the main treatment methods for treating benign thyroid nodules.


Radiofrequency ablation; benign thyroid nodule; efficacy.; safety

Conflict of interest statement

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interest exists.

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