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Cytological puncture of the thyroid gland

Cytological puncture of the thyroid is one of the oldest diagnostic methods for clarifying pathological changes. It is an invasive, but quick and simple, minimally painful method based on the suction (aspiration) of a small amount of cells using a needle and syringe under ultrasound control. This technique is also known in the literature as fine needle aspiration (FNA).

After disinfection of the skin in the thyroid area, under sterile conditions, the desired formation in the thyroid gland is punctured once or several times. The procedure sometimes takes less than a minute and the cytological analysis results are usually available within 24 - 48 hours. Before the introduction of modern diagnostic laboratory methods, it was used to diagnose autoimmune disorders such as Hashimoto's disease and non-immune inflammatory disorders such as acute and subacute thyroiditis.

Today, cytological analysis is an indispensable method in the diagnosis of nodular and cystic - nodular thyroid changes with the purpose of proving malignant changes such as thyroid cancer, thereby avoiding unnecessary operations for nodes that show a benign character. It is also used to clarify other ultrasound-suspicious findings inside the thyroid gland that indicate malignancy (metastases of cancer from other organs) and as a therapeutic method it serves to evacuate the contents of cysts and inflammatory contents.

Before the procedure, a short-term discontinuation of treatment with drugs that prolong the bleeding time (acetylsalicylic acid, warfarin, heparin and new anticoagulant drugs) is necessary. Complications rarely occur and include the formation of a blood pool (hematoma) and injury to the adjacent structures of the neck. Before the puncture procedure, it is mandatory to explain the procedure in detail to each patient and to obtain written consent from the patient for the same (informed consent).

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