Patient’s comfort with and tolerability of thyroid core needle biopsy
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Recently, the core needle biopsy (CNB) has been proposed as a complementary test for thyroid nodules with inconclusive cytology by fine-needle aspiration (FNA). However, there have been no reports regarding patient comfort during and after CNB or tolerability of this procedure. Here we aimed to investigate and compare comfort with and tolerability of the CNB and FNA procedures. A 21 gauge needle was used for collection in CNB procedures, and a 23 gauge needle was used for collection in FNA procedures. Sixty-one consecutive patients underwent both biopsies and were asked to evaluate their comfort during and after these procedures by a structured questionnaire. A total of 58 (95 %) patients reported local pain during both biopsies. Two patients reported pain only during CNB, and one reported no pain. Mild pain was reported in 87 % of CNB cases. Local pain after biopsy was reported in 29 % of FNA and 45 % of CNB. The occurrence of pain in the first minutes following CNB was significantly higher than FNA (p = 0.008), while there was not a significant difference in pain at later time points after the procedures. Finally, patients were asked to evaluate the degree of tolerability of the two sampling techniques, and FNA and CNB were reported as tolerable in 82 and 83 %, respectively. The results from a questionnaire evaluating patients’ comfort level showed no significant difference between the tolerability of CNB and FNA. This finding suggests that CNB may be performed with a reasonable level of patient comfort.