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IntroductionThyroid swelling is common problem among South Asian women. Although benign nodules far outnumber cancerous lesions, the risk of malignancy needs to be evaluated preoperatively for which fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is widely used. Bethesda system for reporting thyroid cytopathology (BSRTC) was introduced to streamline the reporting of thyroid aspirates. We aimed to evaluate the disease spectrum of thyroid cytopathology and correlation of BSRTC with final histopathology in our setup. Methods: The study was conducted at Histopathology department of Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi, involving 528 patients with thyroid swelling who underwent FNAC. Out of these 528 cases, 61 patients subsequently underwent surgical excision. Results of final histopathology were correlated with cytologic diagnosis. Results: Mean age of the patients included in the study was 39.7 ± 13(14–84) and male to female ratio was 1:3.6. Out of total 528 cases, 403 cases were diagnosed as benign (Bethesda 2) and 67 were Bethesda 3 (follicular lesion of undetermined significance, FLUS) while 22 cases were categorized as either malignant or suspicious for malignancy (Bethesda 6 and 5). Histopathologic correlation was done in 61 cases. For Bethesda 5 and 6 categories, 100% concordance was found, however for Bethesda 2 category, 5 out of 45 cases were found to have malignant diagnosis on final histopathology. The incidence of malignancy in Bethesda categories 2 through 4 were 11.1%, 33.4%, 25%, 100% and 100% respectively. Overall accuracy of FNA cytology was 80.3% with 64.3% sensitivity and 85.1% specificity. Conclusion: Our study validated the accuracy of BSRTC in our setup. Therefore we recommend routine use of BSRTC for reporting thyroid cytopathology for initial workup of patients with thyroid nodule. However, risk of malignancy was found to be significantly high in Bethesda 3 category to warrant further workup including ultrasound/thyroid scan in addition to repeat FNAC.
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