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RODRIGUEZ FERNANDEZ, Zenén; DORIMAIN, Pierre-Charlot; FALCON VILARINO, Gilberto Carlos  and  MUSTELIER FERRER, Héctor Luis. Diagnosis of thyroid nodules by cytology with fine-needle aspiration biopsy . MEDISAN [online]. 2013, vol.17, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 1029-3019.

Introduction: Despite advances in used diagnostic tools, the identification of malignant thyroid nodules is still a challenge for pathologists, endocrinologists and surgeons. Methods: An observational, descriptive and prospective study was carried out in 204 patients with nodular thyroid disease, treated at outpatient department in "Saturnino Lora" Provincial Teaching Hospital of Santiago de Cuba (2007-2011), in whom cytology by fine-needle aspiration biopsy was performed. Objective: To determine the diagnostic effectiveness of the cytology with fine-needle aspiration biopsy by comparing it with the result of final histological examination, as well as its economic impact. Results: The report of the cytology by fine-needle aspiration biopsy was negative for malignancy in 111 patients (54.5 %) and positive in 23 (11.3 %); false positive in 4 (2.0 %), false negative in 20 (9.8 %) and without diagnosis in 40 (19.6 %). Indicators of effectiveness identified were sensitivity (53.5 %), specificity (96.5 %), diagnostic accuracy (65.7 %), and positive and negative predictive values (85.2 and 84.7 %, respectively). There were 1.5% of complications and the average cost of the cytology was 50 times lower than that of thyroid surgery. Conclusions: Although this method is simple to perform, practically safe and inexpensive, the presence of the cytopathologist during its application is essential to guarantee the appropriate indicators of effectiveness.

Keywords : cytology by fine-needle aspiration biopsy; sensitivity; specificity; diagnostic accuracy; predictive value; cost.

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