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  • Author: Maurilio Deandrea x
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Maurilio Deandrea, Francesca Garino, Mormile Alberto, Roberto Garberoglio, Ruth Rossetto, Nadia Bonelli, Stefano Spiezia, Massimo De Santis, Salvatore Monti, Maria Grazia Deiana, Toscano Vincenzo, Christian Cugini, Ghassan El Dalati and Paolo Piero Limone

Background

The purpose of this study was to confirm the generalisation of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the treatment of benign thyroid nodules (BTN) and to look for a correlation between final shrinkage and some ultrasound (US) findings in a large Italian population data set.

Methods

This prospective study included 337 patients with solid cold BTN from six Italian institutions. Nodule volume, US pattern, thyroid function, symptom/cosmetic scores and complications were evaluated before treatment and at 6 and 12 months. The primary outcome was to find a correlation between basal volume and US pattern of the nodules and final shrinkage. The secondary outcome was to confirm the efficacy and safety of RFA in a large data set.

Results

The median basal volume was 20.7 mL, and this significantly decreased after RFA at 6 months (7.3 mL (−63.5%), P < 0.001) and at 12 months (6 mL (−70%), P vs 6 months = 0.009). A significant correlation was found for US structure (a spongiform pattern showing a 76% reduction vs 67 and 66% of mix and solid patterns respectively, P < 0.01) as well as for vascularity (intense peripheral and intranodal patterns showing 71 vs 68 and 67% of weak peripheral and intranodal and peripheral patterns respectively, P < 0.03), but not for macrocalcifications. A slight inverse correlation was found between nodule basal volume and shrinkage (Spearman: −0.23). Mean symptoms/cosmetic scores were significantly reduced. No major complications were encountered.

Conclusions

This multicentre study validated the efficacy and safety of RFA for treating BTN and showed a clear correlation between final shrinkage and some common US findings.