Treatment of thyroid nodules with radiofrequency: a 1-year follow-up experience

  • Paolo RabuffiEmail author
  • Antonio Spada
  • Daniela Bosco
  • Antonio Bruni
  • Simone Vagnarelli
  • Cesare Ambrogi
  • Enrico Di Stasio
  • Assunta Santonati
Original Article



The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness and safety of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in debulking benign solid thyroid nodules.

Materials and methods

This is a retrospective review of 77 patients with predominantly solid thyroid nodules treated with RFA in a single center between 2013 and 2016. All patients declined or were not eligible for surgery. Benign proven thyroid nodules causing compressive symptoms and cosmetic concerns were considered for treatment. Nodule volume, thyroid nodule related compressive symptoms, cosmetic concerns and thyroid function were evaluated.


All patients underwent a single treatment session. Mean nodule volume decreased from 17.9 ± 15.6 mL at baseline to 5.2 ± 7.4 after 12 months with a volume reduction ratio (VRR) of 70.9% ± 20.8%. There were no identifiable factors predictive of response to RFA. Median cosmetic and symptom scores of the entire population decreased from 3 [2–4] and 3 [0–10] to 1 [1–3] (p < 0.001) and 0 [0–5] (p < 0.001), respectively. No major complications occurred and RFA did not affect thyroid function when normal.


RFA induces substantial volume reduction of predominantly solid thyroid nodules and improves compressive symptoms and cosmetic concerns. RFA does not impact normal thyroid function and has an acceptable safety profile.


Minimally invasive techniques Thermal ablation therapy Radiofrequency ablation Benign thyroid nodules. 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All other authors have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Ultrasonologia in Medicina e Biologia (SIUMB) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Endocrinology, Azienda Ospedaliera San Giovanni AddolorataRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Interventional RadiologySan Giovanni Addolorata HospitalRomeItaly
  3. 3.Fondazione Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli-IRCCS, Istituto di Biochimica e Biochimica ClinicaUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreRomeItaly

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