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  • Author: Giacomo Gazzano x
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Laura Fugazzola Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy
Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

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Maurilio Deandrea Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department and Center for Thyroid Diseases, Ordine Mauriziano Hospital, Turin, Italy

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Stefano Borgato Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy

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Marco Dell’Acqua Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy

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Francesca Retta Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department and Center for Thyroid Diseases, Ordine Mauriziano Hospital, Turin, Italy

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Alberto Mormile Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Department and Center for Thyroid Diseases, Ordine Mauriziano Hospital, Turin, Italy

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Chiara Carzaniga Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy

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Giacomo Gazzano Pathology Unit, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy

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Gabriele Pogliaghi Department of Pathophysiology and Transplantation, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

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Marina Muzza Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy

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Luca Persani Department of Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases, Istituto Auxologico Italiano IRCCS, Milan, Italy
Department of Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

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Background

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is effective in the treatment of thyroid nodules, leading to a 50–90% reduction with respect to baseline. Current guidelines indicate the need for a benign cytology prior to RFA, though, on the other side, this procedure is also successfully used for the treatment of papillary microcarcinomas. No specific indications are available for nodules with an indeterminate cytology (Bethesda III/IV).

Aim

To evaluate the efficacy of RFA in Bethesda III nodules without genetic alterations as verified by means of a custom panel.

Methods

We have treated 33 patients (mean delivered energy 1069 ± 1201 J/mL of basal volume) with Bethesda III cytology, EU-TIRADS 3-4, and negative genetic panel. The mean basal nodular volume was 17.3 ± 10.7 mL.

Results

Considering the whole series, the mean volume reduction rate (VRR) was 36.8 ± 16.5% at 1 month, 59.9 ± 15.5% at 6 months, and 62 ± 15.7% at 1-year follow-up. The sub-analysis done in patients with 1 and 2 years follow-up data available (n = 20 and n = 5, respectively) confirmed a progressive nodular volume decrease. At all-time points, the rate of reduction was statistically significant (P < 0.0001), without significant correlation between the VRR and the basal volume. Neither cytological changes nor complications were observed after the procedure.

Conclusion

RFA is effective in Bethesda III, oncogene-negative nodules, with reduction rates similar to those obtained in confirmed benign lesions. This procedure represents a good alternative to surgery or active surveillance in this particular class of nodules, regardless of their initial volume. A longer follow-up will allow to evaluate further reduction or possible regrowth.

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