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A Journal on Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,877
Minerva Chirurgica 1999 November;54(11):755-61
Diagnostic procedures of thyroid nodules in a surgical case-series (409 cases)
Badellino F., Margarino G., Mereu P., Scala M., Monteghirfo S., Comandini D., Nocentini L., Schenone F.
Background. The introduction of ultrasonography and fine needle biopsy (FNB) has changed the approach towards thyroid pathology.
At the Division of Surgical Oncology of the National Institute for Cancer Research in Genoa we use a complex diagnostic system for the selection of patients affected by thyroid pathologies. Our aim is to analyze this methodology and find the best diagnostic procedure for the individual patient.
Methods. Between January 1982 and June 1997, 2500 patients (pts) were found to be affected by thyroid pathologies. The diagnostic procedures for thyroid pathologies are: physical examination and anamnesis, scintigraphy, ultrasonography, fine needle biopsy, blood dosages, radiography of trachea and aesophagus; some cases require Computerized Tomography of the neck and Magnetic Nuclear Resonance. At the end of the examinations 409 pts underwent surgery; we will be evaluating the diagnostic system of these patients.
Results. We found from our data, that the group with the highest incidence of malignant tumors is characterized by a large number of instrumental examinations. In fact, 55/73 pts underwent all the instrumental exams, and in 21.1% a malignant tumor was found. These data are interesting, but more important is that only 409 patients out of 2500 underwent surgery 16.3%.
Conclusions. We believe that one single instrumental examination is not enough to detect the characteristic of a thyroid nodule; the three most important examinations, scintigraphy, ultrasonography and citology, would make it possible to select those cases which need a surgical approach. We believe that the 20% incidence in these cases can be considered good result, considering that the incidence of malignant tumors in thyroid pathologies is about 5% and that in these cases although the tumors were not malignant, they were operated on for functional or mechanical disorder.