Outcome of atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undetermined significance in thyroid fine-needle aspirations: A six-year institutional experience

Xiao Meng Xu, Evgeniya Angelova, Cecilia G. Clement

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undetermined significance (AUS/FLUS) is one of six diagnostic categories of The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (BSRTC). The goal of our study is to assess the outcome of cases classified as AUS/FLUS at our institution. Methods: AUS/FLUS cases were identified by computer searching of the thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cases performed between 2010 and 2016. Outcomes were categorized as: follow-up surgery, repeat FNA or no follow-up available. Demographics, ultrasound findings and FNA diagnostic criteria were reviewed for AUS/FLUS cases with follow-up surgical pathology diagnosis. Results: Our AUS/FLUS thyroid FNA rate was 6% (117 out of 1984 FNAs). Only 15% of the AUS/FLUS cases had repeat FNA, while 41% underwent surgery. The risk of malignancy (ROM) for cases with follow-up surgery was 17%. When considering all AUS/FLUS cases, the ROM was 7%. Statistically, benign neoplasms were more likely to be single lesions on ultrasound comparing to malignant neoplasms, and to exhibit architectural atypia as opposed to non-neoplastic lesions on FNA. The malignancy rates among patients that directly went to surgical resection (17%) and patients having repeat FNA after the first AUS/FLUS diagnosis followed by surgery (29%) was not significantly different. However, repeat FNA was able to reclassify the majority of cases into more definitive categories. Conclusion: The outcome of the thyroid FNAs diagnosed as AUS/FLUS in our institution meets the benchmark statistics for AUS/FLUS rate and ROM. This study constitutes a valuable quality assurance measure and serves as a baseline for subsequent quality improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalDiagnostic cytopathology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • atypia of undetermined significance
  • fine-needle aspiration
  • follicular lesion of undetermined significance
  • risk of malignancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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