Risk Stratification of Thyroid Nodules With Atypia of Undetermined Significance/Follicular Lesion of Undetermined Significance (AUS/FLUS) Cytology Using Ultrasonography Patterns Defined by the 2015 ATA Guidelines

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Abstract

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of ultrasonography (US) patterns based on the 2015 American Thyroid Association (ATA) guidelines for malignancy in atypia of undetermined significance or follicular lesion of undetermined significance (AUS/FLUS) nodules.

Methods:

From January 2014 to August 2015, 133 thyroid nodules that were initially diagnosed as AUS/FLUS on fine needle aspiration (FNA) were included in this study. Each nodule was assigned a category with US patterns defined by the ATA guidelines. Clinical characteristics and US patterns were compared between the benign and malignant nodules, and malignancy rates were calculated according to the ATA guidelines.

Results:

The malignancy rate in the very low suspicion group was 0.0% in AUS/FLUS nodules. When applying the ATA guidelines, significant differences existed for US patterns between the benign and malignant nodules in the AUS group (P = .032) but not the FLUS group (P = .168).

Conclusions:

Ultrasonography patterns by the 2015 ATA guidelines can provide risk stratification for nodules with AUS cytology but not for ones with FLUS cytology. For nodules with AUS/FLUS cytology with the very low suspicion pattern of the ATA guidelines, follow-up US might be recommended instead of repeat FNA.

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