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Luca Giovanella, Mauro Imperiali, Frederik A Verburg and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Objective

To assess the diagnostic performance of three high-sensitive assays in a cohort of TgAb-negative and TgAb-positive differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients.

Design

Retrospective study on prospectively selected DTC patients.

Methods

Serum samples from 154 DTC patients were obtained 6–12 months after radioiodine ablation and tested by Beckman, Roche, BRAHMS Tg and TgAb assays, respectively. Receiver operating characteristics curves for Tg were plotted using outcome over time as benchmark and assay-specific Tg thresholds were obtained for TgAb-negative and TgAb-positive patients.

Results

The frequency of positive TgAb was 21, 20 and 20% for Beckman, Roche and BRAHMS, respectively. In TgAb-negative patients, clinical sensitivities and specificities of 100% and 85–95%, respectively, were observed across all assays. In TgAb-positive patients, clinical sensitivities and specificities of 80–100% and 92–96%, respectively, were observed using lower thresholds than in patients without TgAb.

Conclusions

Adopting appropriate thresholds, lower than those for TgAb-negative patients, is possible to reliably follow TgAb-positive patients using highly sensitive Tg assays.

Free access

Lu Zhang, Marco Castellana, Camilla Virili, Anna Crescenzi, Francesco Giorgino, Emanuele Zucca, Luca Ceriani, Franco Cavalli, Luca Giovanella and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Background

Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare malignancy, and its prognosis depends significantly on its early diagnosis. While fine-needle aspiration (FNA) represents the gold standard to identify differentiated thyroid carcinoma, its reliability for the detection of PTL is still unclear. Here, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the diagnostic performance of FNA in PTL.

Research design and methods

A comprehensive literature search of PubMed/MEDLINE and Scopus databases was conducted to retrieve papers reporting histologically proven PTL undergone FNA. The last search was performed in February 2018 without language and time restrictions.

Results

Thirty-two studies describing 593 PTL were included and the pooled FNA sensitivity was 0.48 (95% CI = 0.38–0.58). FNA sensitivity was 0.51 in 20 studies published before 2010 and 0.39 in those published later, 0.50 in six articles with at least 20 cases and 0.44 in nine series enrolled after 2000. This performance was similar in 12 articles including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (0.54) and those six on marginal zone lymphoma (0.56). Remarkably, FNA sensitivity increased to 0.72 when considering also FNA reports suspicious for PTL reported in 14 articles. Heterogeneity among the series was found. Publication bias was not always detected.

Conclusions

The present meta-analysis demonstrated that FNA has low sensitivity in diagnosing PTL. However, this rate increased when considering also FNA reports suspicious for PTL, which is relevant from a clinical standpoint. This result could support indirectly the use of additional imaging and/or core biopsy when PTL is suspected.

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Massimo Bongiovanni, William C Faquin, Luca Giovanella, Cosimo Durante, Peter Kopp and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Objective

The second version of The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology endorsed the introduction of non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasms with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) as a distinct entity with low malignant potential into clinical practice. Consequently, the risk of malignancy (ROM) of cytological diagnoses has changed, but the magnitude of the change remains uncertain. The present systematic review was undertaken to obtain more robust information about the true impact of NIFTP on the ROM among patients undergoing surgery following a fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) diagnosis of suspicious for malignancy (Bethesda V) or malignant (Bethesda VI). As they are managed surgically, these two diagnostic categories are the primary entities that are clinically impacted by the advent of NIFTP.

Design

Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods

A comprehensive literature search of online databases was performed in November 2018. The search was conducted looking for data of histologically proven NIFTP with preoperative FNAC.

Results

One-hundred fifty-seven articles were identified and nine were included in the study. Overall, there were 13,752 thyroidectomies with a cancer prevalence of 45.7%. When NIFTP was considered non-malignant, the pooled risk difference for ROM was 5.5%. Applying meta-analysis, the pooled prevalence of NIFTP among nodules with FNAC of Bethesda V or Bethesda VI was 14 and 3%, respectively.

Conclusion

This meta-analysis shows that the inclusion of NIFTP leads to a reduction in the ROM for the Bethesda V and Bethesda VI FNAC diagnostic categories by 14 and 3%, respectively. Clinicians should be aware of these data to avoid overtreatment.

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Marco Castellana, Camilla Virili, Andrea Palermo, Francesco Giorgino, Luca Giovanella and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Objective

Despite the improvements in ultrasound (US) and scintigraphy, 10–20% of patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) still have discordant findings. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the safety and the diagnostic performance of US-guided PTH washout (FNA-PTH) in patients with PHPT, a suspected parathyroid lesion on US but negative or equivocal scintigraphy.

Methods

The review was registered on PROSPERO (CRD42019124249). PubMed, Scopus, CENTRAL and Web of Science were searched until February 2019. Original articles reporting complications and diagnostic performance of FNA-PTH in biochemically and histopathologically diagnosed PHPT were selected. The risk of bias of included studies was assessed through QUADAS-2. Summary operating points were estimated using a random-effects model.

Results

Out of 2573 retrieved papers, nine cohort studies were included in the review. No major procedure-related complications were found. Pooled sensitivity was 95% (95% CI: 91–98; I 2: = 14%) and positive predictive value was 97% (95% CI: 93–100; I 2: = 39%). There were not enough data for specificity and negative predictive value to perform a meta-analysis. However, pooling results of all lesions, they were estimated to be 83 and 73%, respectively.

Conclusions

In patients with biochemically proven PHPT and discordant imaging, FNA-PTH was a safe and accurate procedure. In this specific setting of patients, FNA-PTH could be used as a rule-in test for minimally invasive parathyroidectomy.

Restricted access

Marco Castellana, Giorgio Grani, Maija Radzina, Vito Guerra, Luca Giovanella, Maurilio Deandrea, Rose Ngu, Cosimo Durante and Pierpaolo Trimboli

Objective:

Several thyroid imaging reporting and data systems (TIRADS) have been proposed to stratify the malignancy risk of thyroid nodule by ultrasound. The TIRADS by the European Thyroid Association, namely EU-TIRADS, was the last one to be published.

Design:

We conducted a meta-analysis to assess the prevalence of malignancy in each EU-TIRADS class and the performance of EU-TIRADS class 5 vs 2, 3 and 4 in detecting malignant lesions.

Methods:

Four databases were searched until December 2019. Original articles reporting the performance of EU-TIRADS and adopting histology as reference standard were included. The number of malignant nodules in each class and the number of nodules classified as true/false positive/negative were extracted. A random-effects model was used for pooling data.

Results:

Seven studies were included, evaluating 5672 thyroid nodules. The prevalence of malignancy in each EU-TIRADS class was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.0–1.3), 5.9% (95% CI: 2.6–9.2), 21.4% (95% CI: 11.1–31.7), and 76.1% (95% CI: 63.7–88.5). Sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, LR+, LR− and DOR of EU-TIRADS class 5 were 83.5% (95% CI: 74.5–89.8), 84.3% (95% CI: 66.2–93.7), 76.1% (95% CI: 63.7–88.5), 85.4% (95% CI: 79.1–91.8), 4.9 (95% CI: 2.9–8.2), 0.2 (95% CI: 0.1–0.3), and 24.5 (95% CI: 11.7–51.0), respectively. A further improved performance was found after excluding two studies because of limited sample size and low prevalence of malignancy in class 5.

Conclusions:

A limited number of studies generally conducted using a retrospective design was found. Acknowledging this limitation, the performance of EU-TIRADS in stratifying the risk of thyroid nodules was high. Also, EU-TIRADS class 5 showed moderate evidence of detecting malignant lesions.