Percutaneous large-needle aspiration biopsy histology of palpable thyroid nodules: technical and diagnostic performance


Professor A Carpi, Department of Reproduction and Ageing, Via Roma, 67, 56126 Pisa, Italy.


Aim:  To report original and review existing data on safety and performance of large-needle aspiration biopsy (LNAB) histology in the preoperative selection of palpable thyroid nodule.

Methods and results:  The English literature and original data were reviewed or analysed. The literature on LNAB of thyroid nodules did not report any complications. A study on needle dimensions has explained why LNAB obtains more tissue than fine-needle aspiration (FNA) and is safe. LNAB histology has higher specificity than FNA cytology and markedly reduces the number of inadequate and indeterminate FNA findings. A comparison of 150 FNA-derived cell blocks with 200 LNAB-derived histological blocks after galectin-3 determination in a large nationwide (Italian) study has shown that one to two sections in 10% of the FNA cell blocks and at least five sections in 90% of the LNAB blocks were available for further determinations of thyroid tumour markers.

Conclusion:  LNAB merits further consideration for the preoperative selection of thyroid nodules.