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Endocrine. 2013 Jun;43(3):659-65. doi: 10.1007/s12020-012-9811-z. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Thin core biopsy should help to discriminate thyroid nodules cytologically classified as indeterminate. A new sampling technique.

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Section of Surgery, Ospedale Israelitico, Rome, Italy.


Indeterminate neoplasms (IN) represent the gray zone of thyroid cytology in which malignant and benign tumors cannot be discriminated. Recently, the approach by thin core needle biopsy has been proposed. Here we report a new thin core needle biopsy approach in 40 consecutive patients with thyroid IN at cytology. In this study, a 21-G needle was inserted into the nodule, advanced within the lesion, and moved ahead reaching extranodular tissue. The resulting sample allowed to evaluate the cytomorphology of nodular tissue, its relationship with extranodular parenchyma, and the nodule's capsule when present. All biopsies were adequate for diagnosis but one. Of the 39 adequate samples, 5 cases were papillary cancer as confirmed at histology, while 14 nodules avoided surgery because of Hürthle cell hyperplasia in thyroiditis (n = 6) and microfollicular adenomatous hyperplasia (n = 8). The remaining 20 cases were assessed as follicular neoplasms because of encapsulation and were evaluated by immunohistochemistry. Of these, 6 had positive markers in different degree and 1/6 has follicular cancer at histology, while the other 14 were benign after surgery. Overall, this approach by thin core needle biopsy identified benignancy in 14/40 (35 %) IN avoiding surgery. As a conclusion, thin core biopsy should help to discern the nature of thyroid lesions cytologically classified as indeterminate, and it should be used as a complementary test in thyroid nodule assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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