A study on fine needle aspiration cytology of thyroid lesions with correlation to histopathological examination with special reference to Bethesda system of reporting at a tertiary care centre

Nandinee Lahkar, Manoj Kumar Deka, Nitu Mani Khakhlari


Background: Annual incidence of thyroid nodules ranges from 40,000 to 70,000 per 1 lac population worldwide. Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) of the thyroid is widely accepted simple, cost effective and quick to perform outpatient procedure with minimal complication. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Bethesda, Maryland, United States standardized the reporting system for thyroid FNA by using Bethesda system for reporting thyroid cytopathology.

Methods: FNA was performed in total 155 patients presenting with the thyroid swelling with or without Ultrasonography (USG) guidance. All patients were analyzed for age, gender, type of lesions. FNA was done and smears were examined and reported according to Bethesda system of reporting for thyroid cytopathology. Findings were correlated with post-operative histopathological diagnoses in 103 cases who underwent surgery.

Results: Out of total 155 patients, 32 were male and 123 were female. Average age of presentation was 38.4 years. On cytology, according to Bethesda system, most cases were in benign category (76.1%) followed by malignant (8.4%). On histopathological study most common diagnosis was colloid goiter followed by papillary thyroid carcinoma. From the study it was found that sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of fine needle aspiration cytology of thyroid lesions were 81.8%, 97.3% and 95.4% respectively.

Conclusions: Fine needle aspiration cytology is simple, easy to perform, cost effective procedure with high sensitivity, specificity and diagnostic accuracy in case of thyroid lesions.


Bethesda, Colloid goiter, Fine needle aspiration, Sensitivity, Specificity, Thyroid lesions

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