Treatment of cystic thyroid nodules

Published:March 09, 2022DOI:
      The optimal treatment option for cystic thyroid lesions depends on the composition of the lesion, prior interventions, and patient preference. Simple aspiration is a good initial diagnostic and treatment modality for thyroid lesions that are predominantly cystic. However, recurrence rates are high and, should fluid re-accumulate, further aspirations are unlikely to be effective. Ethanol ablation is an excellent first line treatment as it is relatively safe, well-tolerated, and simple to perform. It is at least as effective, if not more effective, than radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for simple cysts, and complex thyroid cysts with a solid component <20%. The efficacy of EA is inversely related to the percentage of solid component within any given lesion. There is some evidence that complex cysts with >20% solid component may have better long-term outcomes with RFA over EA, although EA is still a reasonable first line consideration. RFA salvage after EA is possible and effective, especially for complex nodules with larger solid components.


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