Pathologist onsite cuts repeat thyroid biopsies

May 26, 2010

Having a pathologist onsite during ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsies can decrease the number of repeat biopsies performed due to an inadequate sample, according to a study presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society annual meeting.

Having a pathologist onsite during ultrasound-guided thyroid biopsies can decrease the number of repeat biopsies performed due to an inadequate sample, according to a study presented at the American Roentgen Ray Society annual meeting.

University of North Carolina researchers compared 200 biopsies performed with a pathologist onsite and 200 with no pathologist present. All other factors being equal, 13.5% of biopsies performed without a pathologist onsite needed to be repeated, compared with only 5% where a pathologist was onsite, according to the research.

An inadequate sample is one where the pathologist deems there is an insufficient amount of tissue to make a diagnosis.

“We recommend that radiologists performing large numbers of thyroid biopsies use onsite pathology as it may reduce the need for repeat biopsy by up to 60%,” said Dr. Wui K. Chong, lead author of the study and an associate professor of radiology at UNC.

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