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Open Access 04-05-2024 | Aspiration | Review

The use of telecytology for the evaluation of thyroid nodules fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens: a systematic review

Authors: V. Oteri, S. Piane, E. Cocci

Published in: Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

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Abstract

Purpose

Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is currently the gold standard for diagnosis and treatment of thyroid nodules, but the growing need for anatomic pathology services in small communities is becoming a challenge. Telecytology (TC) is defined as the electronic transmission of cytological digital images, and allows for the collection of samples, primary diagnosis, and other applications without the physical presence of a pathologist. Our aim is to systematically report, summarize, and critically analyze the most up to date applications of TC to thyroid nodules FNAB evaluation.

Methods

We performed a systematic literature review by searching PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases. Only studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals were included. Data were extracted using the PICO framework and critically analyzed. PRISMA guidelines were applied, and the risk of bias in the included studies was assessed using the ROBINS-I tools. The methodological quality was assessed following GRADE criteria.

Results

We included 13 observational studies, resulting in a total of 3856 evaluated FNAB specimens. The majority of studies (63.6%) showed an excellent concordance rate of diagnosis via TC and conventional cytology. TC can be used to perform preliminary assessment of samples with a concordance rate ranging from 74 and 100%, showing a significant reduction of the non-diagnostic rate. Image quality was referred to as perfect or nearly perfect in most cases, regardless of telecytology technique.

Conclusion

Telecytology could be a valuable implementation for thyroid FNAB evaluation both for primary diagnosis and preliminary assessment of samples.
Appendix
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Literature
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Metadata
Title
The use of telecytology for the evaluation of thyroid nodules fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens: a systematic review
Authors
V. Oteri
S. Piane
E. Cocci
Publication date
04-05-2024
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Keyword
Aspiration
Published in
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation
Electronic ISSN: 1720-8386
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s40618-024-02378-3
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