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Official Journal of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM)

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Diagnostic accuracy of fine needle aspiration cytology of thyroid nodules

Taskin Erkinuresin
  • Department of Pathology, University of Health Sciences Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital, Bursa, Turkey
  • E-Mail
  • Weitere Artikel des Autors:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Hakan Demirci
  • Korrespondenzautor
  • Department of Family Medicine, University of Health Sciences Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital, Yildirim, 16310 Bursa, Turkey
  • E-Mail
  • Weitere Artikel des Autors:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Online erschienen: 14.08.2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/dx-2019-0039



Routine application of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) has decreased unnecessary referral of thyroid nodules for surgical treatment and has also increased the cancer rates found in surgery materials. Success of thyroid FNAC depends on skilled aspiration, skilled cytological interpretation and rational analysis of cytological and clinical data. The aim of this study was to determine the diagnostic accuracy rates of thyroid FNAC results obtained in our institution.


The data from FNAC and thyroidectomy reports of patients presenting with goiter and who had been evaluated from 1st January 2014 to 1st March 2018 were used. There were 149 patients in total who had undergone thyroidectomy following FNAC. The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytology was used in all cytological diagnoses.


The sensitivity of thyroid FNAC for malignant cases was 57.89%, specificity was 88.10%, false-positive rate was 11.90%, false-negative rate was 42.11%, positive predictive value was 52.38%, negative predictive value was 90.24% and accuracy rate was 82.52%. “Focus number” variable was detected as the factor that affected the accurate prediction of FNAC and thyroidectomy results by the pathologist.


This study showed that there was a moderate conformity between thyroid FNAC and thyroidectomy cyto-histopathological diagnosis in malignant cases. As two or more nodules have a negative effect on the physician’s diagnosis of malignant nodules, we think that a more sensitive approach is needed in the determination of these cases. Sampling defects may affect this non-matching.

Keywords: fine needle aspiration cytology; focus number; malignancy; predictivity; thyroid nodules


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Corresponding author: Hakan Demirci, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Health Sciences Bursa Yuksek Ihtisas Training and Research Hospital, Yildirim, 16310Bursa, Turkey, Phone: +905368963330

Erhalten: 27.05.2019

Angenommen: 23.07.2019

Online erschienen: 14.08.2019

Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

Research funding: None declared.

Employment or leadership: None declared.

Honorarium: None declared.

Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.

Quellenangabe: Diagnosis, 20190039, ISSN (Online) 2194-802X, ISSN (Print) 2194-8011, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/dx-2019-0039.

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