Fine-needle biopsy (FNB) is the most effective and efficient diagnostic procedure to study thyroid nodular lesions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. It is inexpensive, rapidly performed, very well-tolerated by the patient in any context, and immediately repeatable. In experienced hands, FNB is highly reliable in the diagnosis of benign lesions and in the identification and typing of a significant number of malignant tumors. Since the predictive value of a negative diagnosis is very high, the patient can be confidently assured and followed up unless other clinical conditions or risk factors warrant a more aggressive approach. The positive predictive value of the procedure is similarly high and the most appropriate oncological therapy can be started immediately after a FNB diagnosis of malignancy. There are, however, a few cases in which the diagnosis remains inevitably indeterminate in terms of possible malignancy [2,10]. These fall into the diagnostic category “follicular proliferation” and account for about 10–30% of cases in most series [2,10,11, 12, 13, 14].


Follicular Carcinoma Follicular Adenoma Nuclear Change Follicular Lesion Nuclear Groof 
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© Springer-Verlag Italia 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgio Gherardi
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Anatomic Pathology and CytopathologyFatebenefratelli HospitalMilanItaly
  2. 2.Postgraduate School of Anatomic PathologyUniversity of MilanItaly

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