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Assessment of pain score and specimen adequacy for ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy of thyroid nodules

Authors Liao LJ, Lo WC, Hsu WL, Cheng PW, Wang CP

Received 2 August 2017

Accepted for publication 17 November 2017

Published 27 December 2017 Volume 2018:11 Pages 61—66


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon

Li-Jen Liao,1 Wu-Chia Lo,1 Wan-Lun Hsu,2 Po-Wen Cheng,1 Cheng-Ping Wang3

1Department of Otolaryngology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, 2Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, 3Department of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate pain scores and specimen adequacy for ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (US-FNAB) of thyroid nodules without and with local anesthesia (LA).
Materials and methods: The US-FNAB procedure was performed on 183 patients with and without LA. One puncture was made for solid nodules, and if patients could tolerate it, a two-puncture technique was used for nodules with a cystic change. Four-point verbal rating scores were assessed by a nursing assistant after completion of US-FNAB. To be an adequate specimen, at least six groups of follicular cells are required, and each group should contain at least 10 cells.
Results: Immediately after US-FNAB, 92% of patients with LA and 80% without LA reported no or mild pain (p=0.01). Most patients tolerated the procedure well, with no pain (82.5%) reported 5 minutes after the procedure. In univariate logistic regression, irregular boundary (odds ratio [OR]: 2.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.04–6.06, p=0.04), calcification (OR: 2.86, 95% CI: 1.06–7.76, p=0.04), and LA (OR: 0.35, 95% CI: 0.15–0.86, p=0.02) were significantly associated with immediate moderate or severe pain. Specimen adequacy was significantly associated with age (OR: 0.95, 95% CI: 0.92–0.97, p<0.01), heterogeneous echo-texture (OR: 1.76, 95% CI: 1.23–5.17, p=0.01), predominate solid architecture (OR: 2.78, 95% CI: 1.42–5.41, p<0.01), and the use of LA (OR: 3.34, 95% CI: 1.70–6.56, p<0.01). In multivariate logistic regression, patients receiving LA had lower risk of moderate or severe pain (OR: 0.25, 95% CI: 0.09–0.67, p=0.01) and higher chances of specimen adequacy (OR: 4.84, 95% CI: 2.17–10.7, p<0.01) compared to patients who did not receive LA.
Conclusion: US-FNAB is a safe procedure, and most patients report no pain 5 minutes after the procedure. The use of LA was associated with lower immediate pain scales and higher specimen adequacy.

Keywords: ultrasound, thyroid nodule, fine-needle aspiration, pain score, local anesthesia

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