Radiofrequency ablation for thyroid Bethesda III nodules: preliminary results

Pi Ling Chiang, Sheng Dean Luo, Yen Hsiang Chang, Chen Kai Chou, Shun Yu Chi, Yi Fan Chen, Wei Che Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for thyroid nodules with cytological atypia of undetermined significance or follicular lesion of undetermined significance (AUS/FLUS, Bethesda III). Materials and methods: A total of 28 adults presenting with 30 initial Bethesda III nodules underwent thyroid RFA at a single medical center. Thyroid nodules with Bethesda IV or V according to the second aspiration were excluded. All RFA procedures were performed using the free-hand, ‘moving-shot’ technique under local anesthesia. Clinical features and demographics, RFA details, nodule volume reduction rate (VRR), and complications were analyzed. Results: The mean age of patients was 47.6 years, 82.1% of whom were females. Mean nodule volumes at pre-RFA, and at 6 months and 12 months post-RFA were 7.92, 2.42, and 1.25 mL, respectively, with a VRR of 77.9% at 6 months, and 87.4% at 12 months. Post-RFA complications were noted in two patients, one with transient vocal cord palsy and another with isthmus minor rupture. Conclusion: RFA may be another safe alternative except for active surveillance or surgical excision for AUS/FLUS nodules with low-suspicion Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data System features for patients who are unsuitable or strongly refuse surgery. Long-term results remain uncertain, thus further follow-up study is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere230105
JournalEuropean Thyroid Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 the author(s) Published by Bioscientifica Ltd.


  • Bethesda III
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • thyroid nodule


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