Healthcare impact of introduction of thyroid ultrasound in a thyroid nodule pathology unit

Ignasi Castells, Núria Pardo, Sebastián Videla, Gabriel Giménez, Esteve Llargues, Olga Simó, María Asunción Recasens, Xavier Guirao, Xavier Mira, àngel Serrano, Anna Sanmartí

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8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Worldwide incidence of thyroid cancer has increased in recent decades. Objective: To provide evidence of the diagnostic and care efficiency of a monographic thyroid nodule clinic integrating clinical examination, ultrasound examination, and cytology with on site evaluation. Patients and methods: Patients attending the monographic thyroid nodule clinic from January 2004 to June 2010. Two periods may be distinguished based on availability of ultrasound equipment at the time of the visit: a first period (P1: 01/2004-09/2007) where no ultrasound equipment was available at the clinic and FNA by palpation was performed, and a second period (P2: 10/2007-06/2010) where this equipment was available and ultrasound-guided FNA was performed. Results: A total of 1036 patients [P1: 537 (52%), P2: 499 (48%)] were seen and enrolled.Diagnostic efficiency (P1 vs P2): 143 vs 181 patients were seen annually, p<0.001; FNA number/nodule: 1.68 vs 1.17, p<0.001; percent FNAs with inadequate material: 26% vs 5.3%, p<0.001; mean (SD) nodule size: 23.6 (12.4) vs 21.7 (11.7) mm, p 0.040; proportion of nodules examined less than 10. mm in size: 9.9% vs 13.7%, p 0.030.Care efficiency: mean time (range) from the first visit to surgery indication: 332 (0-2177) vs 108 (0-596) days, p<0.001; proportion of patients referred for surgery due to suspect cytology/other reasons: 1.06 vs 2.21, p<0.001; and operated benign neoplasm/pathology: 0.47 vs 0.93, p=0.002. Conclusion: A monographic thyroid nodule clinic integrating clinical examination, ultrasound, and cytology evaluated on site increases diagnostic and care efficiency in patients with thyroid nodules. © 2012 SEEN.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-59
JournalEndocrinologia y Nutricion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2013


  • Care efficiency
  • Monographic clinic
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Thyroid nodule

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