Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of the use of an ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (US-FNAB) to diagnose thyroid nodules smaller than 5 mm in the maximum diameter and to evaluate pathological findings of small thyroid malignancies. Materials and Methods: From May 2007 to April 2008, we evaluated the findings of US-FNABs of small thyroid nodules less than 5 mm in the maximum diameter. The cytopathological findings were retrospectively reviewed and the diagnostic performance of the use of an US-FNAB was examined in all patients. Results: Of 201 small thyroid nodules in 180 patients, there were 162 adequate specimens (81%). Among 180 patients, 75 patients underwent thyroid surgery and 50 malignant and 33 benign nodules were identified based on a pathological examination. All small malignant thyroid nodules were identified as papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (PTMCs). There were 34 (55%) true positive, 0 (0%) false positive, 23 (37%) true negative and five (8%) false negative results for malignancy after performing a first US-FNAB in 62 surgically confirmed nodules. The sensitivity (87%), specificity (100%), positive predictive value (100%), negative predictive value (82%), accuracy (92%), false positive rate (0%) and false negative rate (8%) for an US-FNAB were determined. In 23 patients with a primary PTMC, capsular invasion (9%, 2 of 23), a perithyroidal lymph node metastasis (30%, 7 of 23), the rate of multifocality (9%, 2 of 23) and bilaterality (4%, 1 of 23) were also determined. Conclusion: An US-FNAB of thyroid nodules smaller than 5 mm in the maximum diameter is an effective diagnostic procedure.
- Fine-needle biopsies
- Thyroid, nodule
- Ultrasound (US)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging