An updated audit of fine needle aspiration cytology procedure of solitary thyroid nodule

Mulazim Hussain Bukhari, Shahida Niazi, Ghazala Hanif, Shahzad Shafqat Qureshi, Mohammad Munir, Mumtaz Hasan, Samina Naeem
Diagnostic Cytopathology 2008, 36 (2): 104-12
This study was conducted to see the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) for solitary thyroid nodules and to compare our experience with that of other regions of the world. It was a prospective cross sectional study conducted on 76 thyroid samples submitted and reported at the Department of Pathology, King Edward Medical University, Lahore. There were 65 (85.5%) females and 11 (14.5%) males. Male to female ratio was 1:5.9. Ages of the patients ranged from 10 to 60 year with mean age 35.37 +/- 12.17. Thirty-three (43.42%) samples were indeterminate. There were 30 cases (39.47%) of benign lesions, comprising of colloid goiter, follicular adenoma, and diffuse hyperplasia. The final reports of these cases were almost the same. On FNAC, 13 cases were declared as malignant (6 cases) or suggestive of malignancy (3 cases) or suspicious for malignancy [4 cases (5.26%)]. Only 9 cases (11.84%) were clearly committed as malignant lesions, comprising of papillary carcinoma, anaplastic carcinoma and suggestive of follicular carcinoma. Comparison of malignant cases on histopathology (14 cases) was close to that of FNAC (13 cases). After comparison of FNAC results with histopathology, overall sensitivity of FNAC was found to be 90%, specificity 87.5%, and accuracy 87%, while positive predictive value (PPV) was 93% and negative predictive value (NPV) was 79.5%. In conclusion, we recommend this procedure in the light of views of other experts as a primary investigation of thyroid lesions. We strongly recommend the suggestion that in a patient with one or more thyroid nodule, FNAC should be advised for every patient for exclusion of cancer. We will also encourage the clinicians to embrace this procedure in the initial management of patients. As FNAC is inexpensive, sensitive, specific, and an accurate procedure it should be adapted as an initial investigation of thyroid diseases in all tertiary hospitals in developing countries like Pakistan.

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