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Thyroid biopsy - indications, results, safety, photo

The thyroid gland synthesizes hormones that are involved in the metabolism and affect the normal growth and development of the whole organism. If a person is diagnosed with abnormalities in the work of the organ, then biopsy is often required to clarify the nature of the dysfunction.


Thyroid Biopsy - What is it?

A thyroid biopsy is the taking of functionally active cells for cytological analysis. Use a thin needle to pierce the desired area and take the material under ultrasound control. After that, he is sent to the laboratory, where experts study the samples and make a conclusion.

Ultrasound apparatus is not always used, but only with small sizes of thyroid nodes, in order not to accidentally overshoot and take healthy tissue. As a rule, 3 samples are required, but in time it takes no more than half an hour.

What is a thyroid biopsy?

A biopsy of the thyroid gland is performed without anesthesia. The fact is that extraneous chemical compounds reduce the reliability of the analysis results. The physician needs a study of cells in their current state, and not under the influence of drugs.

In addition, the discomfort during the procedure does not exceed those in the anesthetic injection. And if a person has ever been given an injection, then he will not notice much of a difference.

Doctors also call puncture sampling of an aspiration biopsy of the thyroid gland. It's the same thing, although the new word of some people may scare. A vacuum thrust is simply created in the syringe with which the cells are sucked out of the organ. By the way, this method is used in many areas of medicine.

When and to whom is the analysis prescribed?

If the patient goes to the hospital with an enlarged thyroid gland, then first of all he is given a blood test for thyreoglobulin and is undergoing X-ray examination.

In the event of a hormonal disorder or nodes of unclear origin, a biopsy is prescribed. However, tumors are of a different nature - benign and malignant.

See also: thyroid hormone analysis

A thyroid biopsy is often the only way to detect cancer. Therefore, at the slightest suspicion of cancer, the procedure is carried out without fail.

Sometimes it makes sense to perform puncture and collection of material for analysis after treatment of the thyroid gland. It is necessary to assess the quality of therapy. And especially demanded analysis after surgery to remove a cancer.

Although in the arsenal of medicine there is a method of introducing markers that track the growth of tissues, but sometimes the cytological analysis of the thyroid biopsy gives a much more accurate description of the course of the disease.

Evaluation of thyroid biopsy results

Biopsy under ultrasound control, photo

Biopsy under ultrasound control, photo

Depending on the level of the medical facility, specialists need from 3 to 7 days to conduct a thorough study. The accuracy of the analysis is 95%, and this is a fairly high figure, given the fact that any laboratory experiments have an error.

In addition, the correctness of the material sampling affects the result: if the doctor mistakenly punctured a healthy area, then there can be no question of any authenticity. Therefore, when small nodes (up to 1 cm) must use the ultrasound machine.

A healthy body does not need such a study. In this regard, the results of a thyroid biopsy are of two types:

  1. Benign tumor (nodular or diffuse goiter).
  2. Malignant tumor (carcinoma).

These diseases have similar causes, which in most cases consist in the hypo or hyperfunction of the organ due to iodine imbalance in the body and other factors.

The laboratory does not collect anamnesis, but only examines the structure and composition of thyroid cells. Usually, there is no difficulty in obtaining the result, since the functional changes characteristic of various diseases directly affect the morphology of the cells.

Specialists have doubts when it is impossible to determine the type of the disease. The matter is not even in the method itself, but in the intracellular changes that are not completely completed until the end.

Therefore, there is a 50% chance of further development of a benign or malignant tumor in identifying an atypical node that has undifferentiated cells. In such a situation, it is recommended to repeat the procedure after some time, but this does not mean that the treatment of the thyroid gland should be stopped.

Safety of thyroid biopsy

An experienced doctor will biopsy quickly and easily. In this case, the patient will feel discomfort and a slight pain from the needle prick and the material intake (anesthesia is not done), but this is a temporary phenomenon. In the next few days, the person may have a sore neck, especially if there are other disorders, such as osteochondrosis.

Sometimes a fine needle biopsy of the thyroid gland is performed in the isthmus of the organ. In this case, the probability of puncture of the trachea is high - this is not fatal, but very unpleasant. The patient can cough strongly and refuse to repeat the procedure. We'll have to postpone the analysis for several days.

Some people have this idea: a biopsy can provoke an increase in nodes or affect the transformation of a benign tumor into a malignant one. But this is a misconception. In clinical medicine, there is not a single case that would confirm this statement. In addition, common sense suggests - the usual puncture does not start the processes of functional changes in the cells.


Thyroid biopsy is the most important diagnostic method of modern medicine. The procedure is carried out to identify the nature of intracellular organ changes after confirmation of the disorder by X-ray examination and blood analysis.

In general, the doctor receives a complete clinical picture of the disease and may prescribe an effective treatment. If the sample did not provide reliable results - the procedure is repeated after 2-3 weeks.


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