10 doctors weighed in:
How accurate is a fine neddle biospy on the thyroid?
10 doctors weighed in

5 doctors agree
In brief: Good--but limited
Fna is an excellent technique for papillary, medullary and undifferentiated cancer.
However, there are limitations for a follicular tumor or nodule. You need to look at the periphery of a nodule to see if there is invasion before you can accurately classify these lesions. So, if you have a single nodule, fna is a good screening tool, but it cannot absolutely access all types of thyroid conditions.

In brief: Good--but limited
Fna is an excellent technique for papillary, medullary and undifferentiated cancer.
However, there are limitations for a follicular tumor or nodule. You need to look at the periphery of a nodule to see if there is invasion before you can accurately classify these lesions. So, if you have a single nodule, fna is a good screening tool, but it cannot absolutely access all types of thyroid conditions.
Dr. Lester Thompson
Dr. Lester Thompson
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Dr. William Biggs
Internal Medicine - Endocrinology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Very accurate
Thyroid fine needle aspiration (fna) is done with a thin needle, usually under ultrasound guidance.
Done that way, fna will identify 94% of abnormal lesions in the thyroid , with a specificity of 81%. There is no better test short of doing surgery. Fna is usually used to decide on whether surgery is necessary. Since there is a low false negative rate, follow up ultrasound is often recommended.

In brief: Very accurate
Thyroid fine needle aspiration (fna) is done with a thin needle, usually under ultrasound guidance.
Done that way, fna will identify 94% of abnormal lesions in the thyroid , with a specificity of 81%. There is no better test short of doing surgery. Fna is usually used to decide on whether surgery is necessary. Since there is a low false negative rate, follow up ultrasound is often recommended.
Dr. William Biggs
Dr. William Biggs
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1 doctor agrees
In brief: Can be very accurate
In the best of hands, thyroid fna can detect >95% of cancers.
The diagnostic rate and sensitivity varies greatly (miss rate can be as high as 50%) . High risk lesions (benign adenoma and follicular cancer), can be easily distinguished from common benign nodules by skilled cytologists. It is appropriate to ask about non-diagnostic /indeterminate rates. Search "quality improvement in thyroid fna".

In brief: Can be very accurate
In the best of hands, thyroid fna can detect >95% of cancers.
The diagnostic rate and sensitivity varies greatly (miss rate can be as high as 50%) . High risk lesions (benign adenoma and follicular cancer), can be easily distinguished from common benign nodules by skilled cytologists. It is appropriate to ask about non-diagnostic /indeterminate rates. Search "quality improvement in thyroid fna".
Dr. Daniel Sudilovsky
Dr. Daniel Sudilovsky
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