Surgeon performed ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirates of the thyroid: 1067 biopsies and learning curve in a teaching center
BACKGROUND: Surgeon performed ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspirates (UG-FNAs) reduce delay in diagnosis and allow for surgeon surveillance. We present the first report on a learning curve and impact of head and neck surgical trainees on adequacy rates. METHODS: Thyroid UG-FNA biopsies from 2009 to 2013 were reviewed retrospectively. Specimen adequacy, cytologic diagnosis, and surgical pathology were used to calculate adequacy and accuracy. RESULTS: One thousand sixty-seven biopsies were examined in 723 individuals. The adequacy rate from adoption into practice improved from 71% to 78% to 85% over 300 cases. When UG-FNA was subsequently taught to trainees, adequacy rates varied among trainees (p < .037), and there were higher nondiagnostic rates earlier in training (p = .04). Adequacy was not related to size or palpability, but cystic lesions yielded more inadequate specimens (p < .001). CONCLUSION: Surgeon performed UG-FNA biopsy can be performed adequately in an outpatient setting. Adequacy rates reach acceptable levels after 300 cases, whereas trainee involvement impacts adequacy rates. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2015.
School of Medicine