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What Does Inconclusive Thyroid Biopsy Mean

What Are The Risks Of Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy

Thyroid Nodule Biopsy

Thyroid fine needle aspiration biopsy is a very safe procedure, but it does carry some slight risks. These include:

  • Bleeding at the biopsy site
  • Infection
  • Damage to the structures near the thyroid

Because most healthcare providers use ultrasound to guide the procedure, this last complication is rare.

There is also a small risk that the fine needle aspiration biopsy will not show for sure whether the nodule is cancerous. If this happens, you might need a repeat biopsy.

Histological Diagnosis After Ultrasonography

Of a total of 88 nodules examined by previous inconclusive ultrasonography-guided FNA, 76 were conclusive and 12 were persistently inconclusive with ultrasonography-guided CNB. Finally, the prevalence of malignancy in the 88 nodules was 49.1% in Group A, 12.0% in Group B and 90.0% in Group C. The prevalence of persistently inconclusive ultrasonography-guided CNB results after previous incomplete ultrasonography-guided FNA results was 3.8% in Group A, 36.0% in Group B and 10.0% in Group C .

When Would I Need A Biopsy

A biopsy helps your doctor find the cause of a nodule or goiter. But you donât need it for all thyroid problems. For example, your symptoms, blood tests, and imaging will be enough to tell if you have Gravesâ disease.

Your doctor will likely want to check on any nodule bigger than about 1 centimeter , especially if imaging shows that the nodule is solid, has calcium on it, and doesnât have clear borders around it.

You might also get a biopsy without a nodule if youâre in a lot of pain and your thyroid is growing quickly.

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Fna And Cnb Procedures

Patients were instructed to refrain from anticoagulants during the five days prior to FNA and CNB. Both biopsies were performed at Ospedale Israelitico of Rome by the same experienced surgeon in freehand fashion under US guidance. For FNA, a 23-gauge needle was utilized, while for CNB a 21-gauge Menghini cutting needle was employed, as previously described . Two needle passes were made for both biopsies. Before CNB, a local anesthetic was administered.

Thyroid Nodules And Thyroid Cancer

What To Do When You Get An Inconclusive Thyroid Biopsy?

The biggest concern on most people’s mind is probably whether or not their thyroid nodule is actually cancer in disguise.

As I mentioned previously, most thyroid nodules are benign.

But that leaves another 5-10% which can be cancerous and should be evaluated.

There are some factors which have been evaluated which can help you understand your risk of thyroid cancer.

The risk of thyroid cancers increases with these risk factors:

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Have An Ultrasound For Your Thyroid

If your FNA biopsy continues to come out inconclusive, you can always have an ultrasound for your thyroid nodule. Its a harmless and painless procedure and requires no preparation beforehand.

An ultrasound will produce pictures of your thyroid gland to analyze its appearance. From this, your physician can determine if the nodule is a common benign growth or if further action must be taken.

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New Test For Thyroid Cancer Could Prevent Unnecessary Surgery

University of Texas at Austin
Each year, thanks to inconclusive tests for thyroid cancer, thousands of people undergo unnecessary surgeries to remove part or all of their thyroids. A new test based on the unique chemical fingerprints of thyroid cancer might change that. It’s faster and about two-thirds more accurate than the diagnostic tests doctors use today.

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and Baylor College of Medicine have developed a new preoperative test for thyroid cancer that is faster and about two-thirds more accurate than the diagnostic tests doctors use today. Although more validation will be necessary before it can be used clinically, the new metabolic thyroid test shows promise for preventing thousands of unnecessary thyroid removals each year, such as the partial removal UT Austin grad student Amanda Helms had due to an inconclusive test.

“All the uncertainty was nerve wracking,” Helms said.

The results appear this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“If we could prevent people from having surgery they don’t need and enable them to have a more precise diagnosis, we can improve treatment for patients and lower costs for the health care system,” said Livia S. Eberlin, assistant professor of chemistry and diagnostic medicine at The University of Texas at Austin and co-principal investigator.

Story Source:

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Sonographic Factors That Modify Thyroid Cancer Risk

Ultrasound is recommended as part of the initial evaluation for any patients with a known or suspected thyroid nodule . It is also increasingly used to guide FNA, because data confirm the ability of ultrasound guidance to reduce false-negative and nondiagnostic aspirates. Early experience with thyroid nodule sonography demonstrated that individual nodules exhibit different sonographic characteristics. Over the last 15 yr, numerous investigators have sought to associate these characteristics with either benign or malignant disease. Although interobserver variability can be high, the consistency of reported findings suggests microcalcifications, irregular nodule margins, parenchymal hypoechogenicity, increased nodule vascularity, and abnormal neck lymphadenopathy are each associated with higher malignancy risk .

Each of these solitary variables confers an approximate 1.5- to 3-fold increased risk of cancer, although when two or more variables are present in combination, the risk of cancer appears substantially higher . In contrast, increased cystic fluid content in a nodule is associated with lower cancer risk . Purely cystic nodules appear to have a risk of malignancy of less than 1%. Finally, multinodularity is not protective of malignancy . Findings confirm the risk of cancer per patient is equal whether one or more nodules larger than 1 cm are present.

Key Issues In Goiter & Thyroid Nodule

My biopsy is suspicious for papillary thyroid cancer, what does that mean?

Whenever a person has a goiter or thyroid nodule, three questions must be answered.

  • Is the gland, or a portion of it, so large that it is stretching, compressing, or invading nearby structures? Thyroid swelling can cause a sensation of tightness or, less commonly, pain in the front of the neck. A goiter or nodule can compress the windpipe causing cough or shortness of breath, while pressure on the swallowing tube can cause discomfort with swallowing or even the inability to get things down. When a goiter extends down into the chest, blood returning from the neck and head can be partially obstructed, causing neck veins to bulge. When a goiter or nodule is due to cancer, the tumor may actually grow into nearby structures, causing pain, hoarseness when nerves to the voice box are invaded, or coughing up blood when the trachea is penetrated.
  • Third, is the goiter or thyroid nodule due to malignancy? Fortunately, most patients with a goiter or thyroid nodule do not have thyroid cancer. Often other findings in a patient with a goiter, such as the features of hyperthyroid Graves disease, make it unnecessary to do additional tests to rule out cancer. On the other hand, almost everyone with a thyroid nodule larger than 1.0 to 1.5 cm in diameter must be investigated for the possibility of thyroid cancer. The approach to these diagnostic evaluations is discussed below.
  • Table 2. Key Issues to Evaluate in a Person with a Goiter or Thyroid Nodule

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    Ultrasound Testing & Manual Exams

    There are really three different ways to test or evaluate your thyroid nodule.

    The first is with a manual exam, usually performed by your doctor.

    This is an easy way to test whether or not you need further testing.

    Your doctor can do this when you visit him/her in the office.

    This test is usually done by manually feeling or palpating the thyroid gland while the patient is taking a drink of water.

    The second is with ultrasound testing, usually performed by an ultrasound technician and read by a radiologist.

    Ultrasound testing can help you to understand if your thyroid nodule looks suspicious or not.

    There are certain factors, or characteristics, which, if present, may increase your risk of having thyroid cancer.

    These factors include:

    • The presence of absence of calcificationMicrocalcifications found within thyroid nodules may suggest the presence of thyroid cancer.
    • The shape of the nodule – If your thyroid nodule is taller than it is wide then that is a risk factor for thyroid cancer.
    • The vascularity of the nodule – The presence of vascularity by Doppler ultrasound is also suspicious for thyroid cancer.
    • The margins of the nodule – Nodules which have irregular borders, which look ‘infiltrative’ , or which have speculated margins are all suspicious.

    Your ultrasound report should include this information and you can request this information from your primary care doctor or your radiologist.

    The third is with a biopsy, usually guided by an ultrasound.

    Questions To Ask Your Doctor

    • Is my thyroid nodule cancer? If it isnt now, does this mean that I am more prone to developing thyroid cancer?
    • Will my children be more likely to get thyroid nodules?
    • What is the best treatment for my thyroid nodules?
    • If I have one thyroid nodule now and it goes away, will it come back?
    • What can I do at home to prevent thyroid nodules?
    • Do you have any educational materials I can read?
    • Can you recommend any websites?

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    What Does A Thyroid Fine Needle Aspiration Or Biopsy Entail

    In some situations this is performed with local anesthesia in the clinic. Your child will be awake. In very young children the FNA is done in the operating room under general anesthesia. The pathologist will look at the tissue to determine what they thyroid nodule is composed of and if additional workup or surgery is needed. It often takes about one to two weeks to get the results.

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    What Are Thyroid Nodules

    What To Do When You Get An Inconclusive Thyroid Biopsy?

    The thyroid gland is found in the neck just below the Adams apple. This gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormone, which is an important hormone that stimulates the metabolism of the body. Thyroid nodules are so common that up to half of all people have one, without any symptoms or effect. Like many things, the thyroid gland gets lumpier as we get older and the frequency of these nodules increases with age. In fact, many are found incidentally during routine examinations or radiology testing. Thyroid nodules are also more common in women than in men. Interestingly, because women have so many more nodules than men, the incidence of detected cancer is higher in women than in men by virtue of absolute numbers. However, each individual nodule is more likely to be cancerous if found in a man.

    Doctors always hold a degree of concern whenever a new growth is detected on the body, regardless of the tissue involved. The concern is whether or not the growth or nodule is cancer. Fortunately, fewer than 10% of thyroid nodules are malignant. The majority of thyroid nodules are harmless growths, known as adenomas, and are contained within a capsule. Even though cancerous nodules are uncommon, the doctor will take the necessary measures to be certain.

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    What Happens After A Fine Needle Aspiration Of The Thyroid

    The procedure usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes. After the procedure, your doctor will place some gauze over the area and apply pressure for several minutes to stop the bleeding. You may see a small bruise on the area within a day or two.

    Your doctor may tell you not to take any medications that contain aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for 24 to 48 hours.

    Fine needle aspiration of the thyroid is generally safe. Still, there are some risks, such as:

    • bleeding
    • infection
    • cysts

    You may experience swelling, bruising, or slight pain, which is normal. Call your doctor if you develop a fever or continue to have swelling or more intense pain.

    Your doctor will send your tissue sample to a lab for analysis. The results are usually available within one week. The results that come back will fall into one of four categories:

    • benign

    What To Do When You Get An Inconclusive Thyroid Biopsy

    August 18, 2017 By Jean Holmes

    Do you have an inconclusive thyroid biopsy? When you take a fine needle aspiration biopsy of the thyroid, and the result comes back inconclusive or indeterminate, your initial reaction may be fear or worry. You want to know whats going on with your thyroid. However, dont give up yet, because there are things you can do after receiving such news.

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    So What Do You Need To Know About Thyroid Nodules

    In todays video, I want to share with you some of the symptoms that nodules may cause but, I want to share with you 5 reasons when you should be concerned about Thyroid nodules and I want to talk about 2 blood tests you should have done If your doctor identified that you do have nodules.

    First off, Thyroid nodules are incredibly common and in fact most woman age 50 have at least one thyroid nodule. It is also known that as you get older, the incidence of thyroid nodules increase.

    The other thing about nodules is that they can be solid or fluid-filled lumps sometimes felt in the neck.

    If they are fluid filled, this is called a thyroid cyst and they are almost always benign.

    Most of the time, thyroid nodules do not cause signs or symptoms unless these nodules begin to produce additional thyroxine, a hormone secreted by your thyroid gland.

    Fine Needle Aspiration Of The Thyroid

    Thyroid Biopsy Update | What Would You Do?

    What Is Fine Needle Aspiration of the Thyroid?

    The thyroid is an important organ in your endocrine system. It releases hormones that regulate many of the functions in your body. The thyroid gland is near the base of the neck, just below the Adams apple. Sometimes small nodules, or lumps, appear on the thyroid. When this happens, the doctor may order a test known as fine needle aspiration , or fine needle biopsy, to obtain tissue samples from the thyroid for analysis.

    Your doctor may order this test if you have:

    • a persistent cough, hoarse voice, or unexplained sore throat for a long period
    • nodules, or lumps, on your throat that you can feel or see
    • lumps that are detected on a routine ultrasound
    • a cyst, or fluid-filled lump, on your thyroid

    Fine needle aspiration is the only nonsurgical way to find out if any lumps or nodules are benign or malignant.

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    Waiting For Thyroid Biopsy Results And Feeling Anxious

      Hello everyone,

      This is my first post in here so I’ll explain a little about my background to start off. I’m 29 years old, wife to a wonderful husband and mother of 1 little boy who will be 2 in a few weeks and is my whole world.

      I first noticed a lump on my throat back in January and went to my Dr who took bloods and sent me for an ultrasound scan. The bloods came back and showed slightly lower than average levels of T4. The ultrasound scan showed several nodules on my thyroid, some were fluid filled cysts, others were solid and more of a concern.

      From then I was referred to an ENT consultant for a second ultrasound which showed one particular solid mass that was a concern as well as the cysts they had previously seen. At that appointment they took a couple of different biopsies from the lump and also drained all the fluid from the cysts so now I’ve just beven given an appointment for 4 weeks time to come back for the results.

      I’m not sure at this stage how likely it is to be cancer/what they will do about the lump etc if it’s not and I really feel so in the dark about it all. We are going on a family holiday in a couple of weeks and I feel like all I’ll be doing is worrying about this so it would be lovely to be able to chat to others that are/have been in a similar situation to me.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my post

      Emma x

      Hi Emma,

      Do let us know how you get on.

      Kind regards,

      Hello Jolamine,

      Emma x

      Hi Broomfielda,

      So When Should You Be Concerned About Thyroid Nodules

      Like I mentioned a moment ago, most of the time these nodules dont lead to any serious problems. However some doctors like doing surgery and in cases where there are multiple nodules, many will suggest removing the entire gland because its easier to remove the entire gland rather than remove individual nodules. In my opinion there are really only a few situations when surgery should be recommended to remove a thyroid nodule:

      #1 should be pretty obviously- When the thyroid nodule is cancerous. Obviously if the nodule is malignant, then this would be the best and most justifiable reason to have it removed. Fortunately, only about 5% to 10% of nodules are malignant.

      #2. When the thyroid nodule is shifting or compressing the esophagus/trachea or the larynx. Sometimes when the nodule has gotten so big it can shift the larynx or your voice box causing inflammation leading to a change in your voice, difficulty with speaking or just that feeling of being tired and hoarse. If the nodule shifts the trachea to the side you can experience difficulty with swallowing or breathing- So be aware of these symptoms as well.

      The last thing I wanted to cover in todays video, are the two tests you should have done if nodules are identified. If your doctor has not run these tests, its critical that they are run. These tests identify whether or not you have an autoimmune disease

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