Treatment of large cold benign thyroid nodules not eligible for surgery with percutaneous ethanol injection

Matteo Zingrillo, Daniela Collura, Maria Rosaria Ghiggi, Vincenzo Nirchio, Vincenzo Trischitta

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We studied the effect of percutaneous ethanol injection (PEI) in the treatment of cold, cytologically benign, large (> 10 mL) thyroid nodules (CBNs) in 41 patients. The end-point of our study was to evaluate the efficacy of PEI on: 1) local symptomatology, assessed by an arbitrary symptom score; and 2) nodule volume and tracheal displacement (at ultrasonography). Follow-up ranged from 12-36 (21 ± 9) months. Symptom score was significantly reduced (P <0.01) after 6 months and at the end of the follow-up (2.1 ± 0.3 vs. 0.2 ± 0.5 and vs. 0.2 ± 0.4). A significant (P <0.01) nodule volume reduction was observed, without differences between solid or mixed CBNs; the reduction was 50% or more in 92.7% of patients. Neither clinical parameters nor pretreatment nodule ultrasonographic features were related to nodule reduction. Disappearance or significant reduction (>0.5 cm) of tracheal displacement was obtained in 61% and in 39% of patients, respectively. One patient experienced prethyroid region edema, pain, and mild fewer, which reversed within 1 week; and one patient had dysphonia, caused by vocal cord palsy, which reversed spontaneously within 1 month. At the end of the follow- up, nodules with just necrotic material at cytology showed a greater (P <0.05) volume reduction than nodules with residual benign thyroid cells. Our data suggest that PEI is a safe and effective treatment of large CBNs, although sometimes serious side effects do occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3905-3907
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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