Thyroid nodules: Nondiagnostic cytologic results according to thyroid imaging reporting and data system before and after application of the Bethesda system

Jung Hyun Yoon, Hye Sun Lee, Eun Kyung Kim, Hee Jung Moon, Jin Young Kwak

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18 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To compare the malignancy rates and the effectiveness of the Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System (TIRADS) for risk stratification of nodules with nondiagnostic results classified before and after application of the Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was approved by an institutional review board, with waiver of informed consent. A total of 763 patients with 790 thyroid nodules and nondiagnostic cytologic results were included (mean age ± standard deviation, 52.3 years ± 11.5), 485 nodules from the pre- Bethesda period (from March 2007 to December 2008) and 305 nodules from the post-Bethesda period (from May 2011 to May 2012). A TIRADS category was assigned to each thyroid nodule on the basis of the number of features that appeared suspicious for cancer at ultrasonography (US). Malignancy rates and TIRADS categories during the two periods were compared. Correlation between TIRADS category and malignancy risk between the two periods was evaluated and compared. Results: The malignancy rates of nodules with nondiagnostic cytologic results were not significantly different between the two periods (P = .148). Malignancy risk of TIRADS category 3, 4a, 4b, 4c, and 5 was 1.8%, 5.7%, 4.1%, 29.8%, and 16.7%, for the pre-Bethesda period, and 1.6%, 3.0%, 7.1%, 16.3%, and 25.0% for the post-Bethesda period, respectively. Near-perfect correlation was seen between the TIRADS category and malignancy risk in the post-Bethesda period (r = 0.961, P = .009), while no significant correlation was found in the pre-Bethesda period (r = 0.731, P = .161). Conclusion: Malignancy risk stratification with TIRADS was more effective for nodules with nondiagnostic cytologic results classified according to the Bethesda System. When these Bethesda-classified nodules with nondiagnostic results are evaluated as TIRADS category 3 or 4a, they may be treated conservatively with follow-up US, but when other cytologic classifications are applied, follow-up US and fine-needle aspiration must be considered for nodules showing one or more features suspicious for cancer at US.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-587
Number of pages9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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