The Use of the Bethesda Terminology in Thyroid Fine-Needle Aspiration Results in a Lower Rate of Surgery for Nonmalignant Nodules: A Report From a Reference Center in Turkey

Ozluk Y. , Pehlivan E., Gulluoglu M. G. , Poyanli A., Salmaslioglu A. , Colak N., ...Daha Fazla

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SURGICAL PATHOLOGY, cilt.19, ss.761-771, 2011 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası: 19 Konu: 6
  • Basım Tarihi: 2011
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1177/1066896911415667
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.761-771


The Bethesda system (BS) for reporting thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA), which classifies nodules as nondiagnostic (ND), benign (B), atypia/follicular lesion of undetermined significance (AUS/FLUS), suspicious for follicular neoplasm (SFN/FN), suspicious for malignancy (SFM), or malignant (M), uses clinically valuable management guidelines. The authors employed a similar in-house classification system (IS) for thyroid FNAs, using the categories of ND, B, suspicious follicular cells (SFC), follicular lesion/neoplasm (FL/FN), SFM, and M. The authors compared IS and BS, and assessed the utility of BS in clinical practice. A total of 581 nodules with cytological/histological follow-up were examined and indeterminate lesions by BS were reclassified. The sensitivity and specificity for malignancy using IS were similar to that of BS (77% vs 99%). However, when SFN/FN and SFM were both considered positive, the results for IS and BS were as follows: sensitivity, 85% versus 85%; specificity, 87% versus 94%; and diagnostic accuracy, 86% versus 90%, respectively. Discrepancies between cytological and histological data were evident in 35 cases among all categories of BS except AUS/FLUS. The rate of surgery for nonmalignant nodules was lesser (20% vs 9%) by BS. Among 34 AUS/FLUS cases with follow-up data, hypocellularity was the case in 11 (46%) nonneoplastic and 10 (100%) neoplastic nodules. The use of BS results in a lower rate of surgery for nonmalignant nodules even though patients with borderline cytopathologic features are still encountered. AUS/FLUS category can be separated into subgroups according to the factors causing difficulties in the interpretation. There is a need of accumulation of AUS/FLUS cases to do further evaluations and studies.