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Group consensus review minimizes the diagnosis of “follicular lesion of undetermined significance” and improves cytohistologic concordance



We conducted a group consensus review of thyroid aspirates that were previously interpreted as “atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undetermined significance” (AUS/FLUS) and followed by surgical interventions. The study aimed to investigate if consensus review would minimize the diagnosis of AUS/FLUS with an optimal interobserver agreement and also promote a better cytohistologic concordance. A group of reviewers who were blinded to the corresponding histologic findings simultaneously evaluated a total of 50 aspirates at a multiheaded light microscope. Using the Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology as a guideline, a consensus interpretation was reached upon review of each aspirate. Interobserver agreement was calculated and recorded. The cytohistologic correlation was then performed between the consensus interpretation and the corresponding histologic diagnosis. The consensus review reclassified 26 (52%) aspirates as non-neoplasia/benign, 10 (20%) as follicular neoplasm/suspicious for a follicular neoplasm, 1 (2%) as papillary thyroid carcinoma, and 2 (4%) as nondiagnostic. Eleven (22%) aspirates remained AUS/FLUS. The interobserver agreement across the five diagnostic categories ranged from 71.6% to 100% with an average level of 88.8%. Cytohistologic concordance was achieved in 24 of 26 (92.3%) and 9 of 11 (81.8%) aspirates that were reclassified as non-neoplasia/benign and neoplasia/malignancy, respectively. A diagnostic accuracy of 89.2% (33/37) was obtained in reclassified cases. In conclusion, the group consensus review minimized AUS/FLUS, offered an optimal level of interobserver agreement, and most importantly, promoted excellent cytohistologic concordance in reclassified cases and, therefore, could play a substantial role in the future in reducing reaspiration and/or unnecessary surgeries. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2012. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc