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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 277-281

Improving bethesda reporting in thyroid cytology: A team effort goes a long way and still miles to go…

1 Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bariatric Medicine, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Pathology, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Head and Neck Surgical Oncology, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Family Medicine, Narayana Health City, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Subramanian Kannan
258/A, Bommasandra Industrial Area, Hosur Road, Bengaluru - 560 099, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijem.IJEM_350_16

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Context: Fine-needle aspiration cytology is the first step in evaluation of thyroid nodules. Although the Bethesda classification for reporting thyroid cytology has been purported that this uniformity in reporting cytology thereby facilitating clinical decision-making, there are also studies indicating that the reporting percentage and the rates of malignancy in each category vary considerably from center to center making the clinical decision more difficult. Aim and Materials and Methods: We looked at our retrospective cytology and histopathology data of thyroid nodules operated between 2012 and 2014 and then prospectively collected data during 2015–2016. In the prospective arm, for every thyroid nodule that was sampled, there was a discussion between the endocrinologist and the cytopathologist on the risk of thyroid cancer (based on the patient's history, examination findings, sonographic pattern, and the cytological appearance). Results: We noted that there was considerable improvement in reporting standards with the rates of nondiagnostic cytology dropping from 11% to 5%, an increased reporting of Bethesda Category 2 and 6 which are the definitive strata of benign and malignant nodules (38% to 41% in Category 2 and 7% to 11% in Category 6) with a high specificity (100%). There was a decline in numbers of Category 4 and 5 (13% to 9% in Category 4 and 12% to 3% in Category 5). The reporting prevalence of Category 3 increased from 19% to 27%. Conclusions: We conclude that a team approach between the clinician who performs the ultrasound and the reporting cytopathologist improves Bethesda reporting, its predictive value, and thus potentially avoiding unnecessary thyroidectomies in benign thyroid nodules and hemithyroidectomies in thyroid cancers.

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