Background: Cytologically defined indeterminate thyroid nodules are a diagnostic challenge. Surgical lobectomy remains the gold standard for definitive diagnosis. However, 70-85% of nodules are ultimately benign. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the negative predictive value (NPV) of F18-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission computed tomography (PET/CT) in excluding cancer among cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules within the authors' institution using surgical pathology as the gold-standard reference. In addition, a systematic review was performed of published prospective studies on the NPV of PET/CT in evaluating indeterminate thyroid nodules. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of all patients aged ≥18 years seen at the Mayo Clinic between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2014, with cytologically defined indeterminate thyroid nodules (suspicious for Hürthle cell neoplasm or follicular neoplasm; N = 858), who had a PET/CT within one year of fine-needle aspiration (n = 80) and underwent definitive diagnostic lobectomy (n = 51). Nodules were considered PET negative if they had a standardized uptake value (SUV) <5. Additionally, a systematic review was performed of published prospective studies on the NPV of PET/CT across multiple sites. Results: Fifty-one patients met the eligibility criteria. The retrospective review combined with a systematic review of eight prospective studies suggests that indeterminate nodules with a negative PET (SUV <5) have a low risk of malignancy (NPV 94%). The cancer prevalence in the institution is 14% and 27% in the combined prospective studies. Conclusions: PET/CT represents a preoperative, non-invasive tool that when combined with sonographic features can identify indeterminate nodules at low risk for malignancy.
- Hürthle cell neoplasm
- follicular neoplasm
- thyroid nodules
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism