Simultaneous fine-needle aspiration and core-needle biopsy of thyroid nodules

Q. Liu, M. Castelli, P. Gattuso, R. A. Prinz, E. D. Staren, S. A. Dejong

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42 Scopus citations


To evaluate the efficacy of simultaneous fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and core-needle (CN) biopsies of thyroid nodules, the clinical course and operative findings in 100 patients having both tests were reviewed. Each patient had a diagnosis made with this approach. Both specimens were adequate for diagnosis in 95 patients. In the remaining 5 patients, a diagnosis was provided by FNA in four and CN biopsy in one. FNA and CN biopsies gave the same diagnosis of either a benign nodule in 53 patients or neoplasia in 30 patients. When both FNA and CN biopsies showed a benign nodule, a nonoperative approach was taken in 43 of the 53 patients. Forty-two patients were operated on either because of biopsy findings (32) or clinical indications (10). The surgical specimens were used to determine the false positive and false negative rates, the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for the diagnosis of neoplasia. The false (+) and false (-) rates in diagnosing neoplasia were 33 per cent and 7 per cent for FNA, 20 per cent and 4 per cent for CN biopsy, and 20 per cent and 0 per cent for both. The sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy for FNA were 93 per cent, 67 per cent, and 83 per cent, for CN biopsy 96 per cent, 80 per cent, and 90 per cent, and 100 per cent, 80 per cent, and 93 per cent for both FNA and CN. All neoplasms were detected, and no thyroid carcinomas were missed by this combination. There was only one complication: bleeding after a CN biopsy. Combined FNA and CN biopsies allow most patients with thyroid nodules to avoid an unnecessary operation and accurately diagnose those with thyroid carcinoma. These two procedures are safe and complementary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-633
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Surgeon
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 3 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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