Quality Improvement in Thyroid Fine-Needle Aspiration Biopsy accuracy at San Juan City Hospital Endocrinology Clinics

Nadyeschka Rivera-Santana, Marina Torres-Torres, Héctor Cintrón-Colón, Miosotis García-Maldonado, Michelle Mangual-García, Alex González-Bóssolo


Objective: This study aimed to determine if there was a reduction in the amount of non-diagnostic cytopathology results of thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsies performed at San Juan City Hospital (SJCH) endocrinology clinics since the inclusion of a cytopathologist at the clinics. Methods: This research consisted of a retrospective analysis of thyroid nodule FNA biopsy results performed at SJCH endocrinology clinics. The biopsies analyzed were performed during academic years from July 2017-June 2018 and July 2018-June 2019, a period that reflects one academic year prior and a year after the inclusion of a cytopathologist to the clinics. The patients were classified into “pre group” and “post -group.” Descriptive analysis was conducted, taking into consideration variables including sex, age, period, location, size of the nodule, and cytology results. A Chi-square test and Confidence Interval were used to assess the association and estimates between predictors and outcomes. Results: From the 145 thyroid nodules biopsied, a total of 121 nodules (83.4%) resulted in diagnostic cytologic results, while 24 nodules (16.6%) were non-diagnostic. From the “pre group,” 57 nodules (78.1%) had a diagnosis, while the other 16 (21.9%) were reported as non-diagnostic. From the “post group”, 64 nodules (88.9%) had a diagnosis, while the other 8 (11.1%) resulted in non-diagnostic findings (p-value: = 0.08). Even though results were statistically non-significant, a clear trend towards a decrease in non-diagnostic samples was evident. Conclusion: In our study, there was a decrease in the number of non-diagnostic thyroid nodule FNA results after on-site adequacy determination guided by a cytopathologist.


Thyroid nodules; thyroid fine-needle aspiration biopsy; cytology

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