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      Long-term outcome following laser therapy of benign cystic-solid thyroid nodules


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          Laser therapy (LT) is considered a safe and effective procedure for inducing thyroid nodule necrosis, fibrosis and shrinkage. Little is known about long-term efficacy of LT in benign complex thyroid nodules, which we report here.

          Design and methods

          One hundred and ten euthyroid outpatients (28 men and 82 women; median age 48 years (range 17–82)) with a recurrent cytologically benign cystic (≥2 mL cyst volume) thyroid nodule causing local discomfort were assigned to LT. LT was performed after complete cyst aspiration and under continuous ultrasound (US) guidance. Nineteen patients (17 within 6 months) had surgery after LT. The median follow-up for the remaining 91 patients was 45 months (range: 12–134).


          The overall median nodule volume in the 110 patients decreased from 9.0 mL (range: 2.0–158.0) to 1.2 mL (range: 0.0–85.0) ( P < 0.001) at the final evaluation, corresponding to a median reduction of 85% (range: −49 to 100%). Remission of the cystic part (volume ≤1 mL) was obtained in 82 of 110 (75%) patients after LT. The median cyst volume decreased from 6.3 mL (range: 2.0–158.0) to 0.0 mL (range: 0.0–85.0) ( P < 000.1), corresponding to a median reduction of 100% (range: −49 to 100%). These results correlated with a significant decrease in pressure as well as cosmetic complaints. Side effects were restricted to mild local pain.


          US-guided aspiration and subsequent LT of benign recurrent cystic thyroid nodules results in a satisfactory long-term clinical response in the majority of patients. LT constitutes a clinically relevant alternative to surgery in such patients.

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          Most cited references34

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          European Thyroid Association Guidelines for Ultrasound Malignancy Risk Stratification of Thyroid Nodules in Adults: The EU-TIRADS

          Thyroid ultrasound (US) is a key examination for the management of thyroid nodules. Thyroid US is easily accessible, noninvasive, and cost-effective, and is a mandatory step in the workup of thyroid nodules. The main disadvantage of the method is that it is operator dependent. Thyroid US assessment of the risk of malignancy is crucial in patients with nodules, in order to select those who should have a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy performed. Due to the pivotal role of thyroid US in the management of patients with nodules, the European Thyroid Association convened a panel of international experts to set up European guidelines on US risk stratification of thyroid nodules. Based on a review of the literature and on the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Thyroid Association, and Korean guidelines, the panel created the novel European Thyroid Imaging and Reporting Data System, called EU-TIRADS. This comprises a thyroid US lexicon; a standardized report; definitions of benign and low-, intermediate-, and high-risk nodules, with the estimated risks of malignancy in each category; and indications for FNA. Illustrated by numerous US images, the EU-TIRADS aims to serve physicians in their clinical practice, to enhance the interobserver reproducibility of descriptions, and to simplify communication of the results.
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            The Diagnosis and Management of Thyroid Nodules

            Thyroid nodules are common, being detected in up to 65% of the general population. This is likely due to the increased use of diagnostic imaging for purposes unrelated to the thyroid. Most thyroid nodules are benign, clinically insignificant, and safely managed with a surveillance program. The main goal of initial and long-term follow-up is identification of the small subgroup of nodules that harbor a clinically significant cancer (≈10%), cause compressive symptoms (≈5%), or progress to functional disease (≈5%).
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              Management of simple nodular goiter: current status and future perspectives.

              The simple nodular goiter, the etiology of which is multifactorial, encompasses the spectrum from the incidental asymptomatic small solitary nodule to the large intrathoracic goiter, causing pressure symptoms as well as cosmetic complaints. Its management is still the cause of considerable controversy. The mainstay in the diagnostic evaluation is related to functional and morphological characterization with serum TSH and (some kind of) imaging. Because malignancy is just as common in patients with a multinodular goiter as patients with a solitary nodule, we support the increasing use of fine-needle aspiration biopsy (cytology). Most patients need no treatment after malignancy is ruled out. In case of cosmetic or pressure symptoms, the choice in multinodular goiter stands between surgery, which is still the first choice, and radioiodine if uptake is adequate. In addition to surgery, the solitary nodule, whether hot or cold, can be treated with percutaneous ethanol injection therapy. If hot, radioiodine is the therapy of choice. Randomized studies are scarce, and the side effects of nonsurgical therapy are coming into focus. Therefore, the use of the optimum option in the individual patient cannot at present be based on evidence. However, we are of the view that levothyroxine, although widely used, should no longer be recommended routinely for this condition. Within a few years, the introduction of recombinant human TSH and laser therapy may profoundly alter the nonsurgical treatment of simple nodular goiter.

                Author and article information

                Endocr Connect
                Endocr Connect
                Endocrine Connections
                Bioscientifica Ltd (Bristol )
                July 2019
                04 June 2019
                : 8
                : 7
                : 846-852
                [1 ]Department of Oto-rhino-laryngology and Neck Surgery , Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
                [2 ]Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism , Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark
                [3 ]Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism , Herlev University Hospital, Herlev, Denmark
                Author notes
                Correspondence should be addressed to H Døssing: helle.doessing@ 123456rsyd.dk
                © 2019 The authors

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

                : 14 May 2019
                : 04 June 2019

                laser therapy,cystic thyroid nodule,ultrasound,long-term follow-up


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