Annual increase in the frequency of papillary thyroid carcinoma as diagnosed by fine-needle aspiration at a cytology unit in Sicily
An increased frequency of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) has been reported in the literature, including studies based on fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC).
To substantiate our own ascertainment of such an increase, we retrieved all the diagnoses of ultrasound-guided FNAC which was performed on 11,389 patients referred for cytological evaluation of a single or dominant thyroid nodule from 1988 to 2010. FNAC yielded 11,258 adequate specimens.
The number of patients with PTC was 200 (age 10–83 yrs) and increased significantly from 1988 to 2010 (r= 0.916, P<0.001). Expressing data as percent of FNAC in any given year, PTC and colloid goiter increased, while adenomatous goiter, follicular lesions and anaplastic or medullary thyroid cancer decreased. PTC accounted for 0% of all FNAC diagnoses in 1988 but for 2% in 2010, with a peak of 2.6% in 2006. Of interest, chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT) also increased, preceding the increase of PTC by 5–6 years.
We conclude that in the regions on either side of the Strait of Messina (Italy), PTC has become progressively more frequent during the 23-year period between 1988 and 2010 and that this increase lagged behind the increase of CLT.
Key wordsFine-needle aspiration cytology Papillary thyroid carcinoma Thyroid cancer
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