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Spinal versus conventional fine needle for ultrasound-guided thyroid nodule biopsy: a protocol for a randomised clinical trial

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INTRODUCTION: Thyroid nodules are very common and constitute an increasing clinical challenge since improved imaging capabilities and utilisation have led to a higher number of incidental findings. Ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is the standard diagnostic tool in the work-up of thyroid nodules suspected of malignancy. Non-diagnostic results remain common and require repeated FNAB, leading to increased costs and delayed treatment of thyroid diseases, including treatment of thyroid cancer. If cytological diagnoses cannot be achieved, surgery may be warranted, which may potentially lead to overtreatment. Optimisation of the FNAB procedure is therefore essential. Spinal needles with a stylet have been found to lead to fewer non-diagnostic results, but studies on the subject are few.

METHODS: This is a multicentre, two-arm, randomised clinical trial. Adults with thyroid nodules suspected of malignancy will be included consecutively. A total of 350 patients will be assigned randomly 1:1 to have a FNAB with either a spinal (25G) or a conventional (25G) needle. The primary outcome is the rate of diagnostic cytological samples according to the Bethesda system. Secondary outcomes are patient-experienced pain, complication rate and sensitivity and specificity.

CONCLUSIONS: This trial will explore whether FNAB from thyroid nodules employing spinal needles compared with conventional fine needles improves diagnostic results, thereby providing evidence-based recommendations for a future choice of the FNAB needle. Secondary outcomes are patient-experienced pain, complication rate and sensitivity and specificity.

FUNDING: This trial received funding from Erik and Susanna Olesens Fond. The funding source had no influence on trial design, data collection, analysis or publication.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

CLINICALTRIALS: gov Identifier: NCT04879355. Registration date: 07032021; version: 29062022.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA03220165
JournalDanish Medical Journal
Volume69
Issue number8
ISSN1603-9629
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Articles published in the DMJ are “open access”. This means that the articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits any non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.

    Research areas

  • Adult, Biopsy, Fine-Needle/methods, Humans, Multicenter Studies as Topic, Pain, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Retrospective Studies, Sensitivity and Specificity, Thyroid Neoplasms/diagnosis, Thyroid Nodule/diagnostic imaging, Ultrasonography, Interventional

ID: 83800574