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Authors Yu XM, Patel PN, Chen H, Sippel RS
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Journal Am. J. Surg. Volume: 203 Issue: 3 Pages: 331-4; discussion 334
Publish Date 2012 Mar
PubMed ID 22284047

The goal of this study was to determine whether sampling error was the major cause for false-negative fine needle aspiration (FNA) results for thyroid nodules.Patients who underwent preoperative FNA between 1994 and 2008 were identified, and the results were compared with surgical pathology findings. Other related variables including nodule number and size were also recorded.Excluding the microcarcinomas, the false-negative rate was 4% (19/479). Sampling errors occurred in only 4 (21%) cases in which the malignant nodule was not actually biopsied. Of the other 15 cases, 8 (53%) were solitary nodules, 8 (53%) were ≥4 cm in size, and 5 (33%) had underlying thyroiditis. Because of the missed diagnosis, 9 patients (47%) had lobectomy only as the initial surgery, which then required a completion thyroidectomy.Sampling error is a minor cause for false-negative FNAs, suggesting that there are some inherent limitations to cytological evaluation of the thyroid. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System