The Bethesda system for reporting thyroid cytopathology: An experience of 1,382 cases in a community practice setting with the implication for risk of neoplasm and risk of malignancy

Howard Her-Juing Wu, Crystal Rose, Tarik M. Elsheikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Scopus citations


The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (TBSRTC) has provided a set of uniform diagnostic terminology including benign (B), atypia of undetermined significance (AUS), follicular neoplasm (FN), suspicious for malignancy (SM), malignancy (M), and nondiagnostic (ND) for the interpretation of thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA). We applied this terminology on our 1,382 thyroid aspirates in a community practice setting, which included 539 cases of B (39%), 376 cases of AUS (27.2%), 116 cases of FN (8.4%), 37 cases of malignant (2.7%), 36 cases of SM (2.6%), and 278 cases of ND (20.1%). Two hundred twenty-one cases (16%) of thyroid FNA had corresponding follow-up thyroidectomies. Each diagnostic category represented a unique association with risk of malignancy and risk of neoplasm. Based on histologic follow-up, the risk of neoplasm (including benign and malignant neoplasm) was B 14%, AUS 44%, FN 67%, SM 77%, and M 100% and the risk of malignancy was B 3%, AUS 6%, FN 22%, SM 56%, and M 100%. The classification and follow-up recommendation of TBSRTC are appropriate for each category. Both B and AUS are low-risk lesions with low probability of malignancy. FN predicts a higher rate for neoplasm but an intermediate rate for malignancy while SM carries a high risk for malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-403
Number of pages5
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012



  • cytology
  • fine-needle aspiration
  • malignancy
  • neoplasm
  • thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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