The 5-tiered categorization system for reporting cytology is sufficient for management of patients with thyroid nodules compared to the 6-tiered Bethesda system
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To analyze whether the 5-tiered categorization system without the atypia of undetermined significance or follicular lesion of undetermined significance (AUS/FLUS) category is sufficient compared to the 6-tiered Bethesda system. This IRB-approved retrospective study was waived informed consent. The pre-Bethesda period was from March 2008 to December 2008 and the Bethesda period was from January 2012 to January 2013. Of 4677 nodules ≥10 mm with initial ultrasonography-guided fine-needle aspiration, 2553 nodules were from the pre-Bethesda period and 1754 nodules were from the Bethesda period. The utilization and malignancy rates of each category were compared between the two periods. The utilization rate of the benign category decreased from 67.7 % in the pre-Bethesda period to 60.0 % in the Bethesda period (p = 0.001). In the pre-Bethesda period, the malignancy rates of the non-diagnostic, benign, suspicious follicular neoplasm/Hürthle cell neoplasm, suspicious for malignancy, and malignancy categories were 3.8, 1.9, 25, 78.8, and 99.7 %, respectively. The malignancy rate of the benign category decreased from 1.9 to 0.3 % after the Bethesda system (p < 0.001). The utilization and malignancy rates of the AUS/FLUS category were 7 and 22.8 %. When the AUS/FLUS category was included in the benign category, the malignancy rate became 2.6 % which was not significantly different from 1.9 % in the pre-Bethesda period (p = 0.189). The malignancy rates of other categories were not significantly different. The 5-tiered categorization system without the AUS/FLUS category for reporting cytology was sufficient for management of patients with thyroid nodules compared to the 6-tiered categorization of the Bethesda system.
KeywordsThyroid nodule Fine-needle aspiration Cytology Report
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
For this type of study formal consent is not required.
This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
The Institutional Review Board approved this retrospective study and waived the requirement for informed consent.
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