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Zhang Y.,Ningbo Municipal Second Hospital | Zhang M.-W.,Ningbo Municipal Second Hospital | Fan X.-X.,Ningbo Municipal Second Hospital
Journal of Interventional Radiology (China)

Objective: To investigate the clinical effect of ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) for the treatment of benign thyroid nodules. Methods: A total of 27 patients with benign thyroid nodules, who were treated with ultrasound-guided percutaneous RFA during the period from December 2012 to November 2014, were included in this study. The changes of lesions were determined by ultrasound at one, 3 and 6 moths after RFA, the volume and the reduction rate of the lesions were calculated, the weakened degrees of blood flow signals were measured by color Doppler flow imaging (CDFI) and ultrasonography. Results: Percutaneous RFA was successfully accomplished in all patients; no patient needed to be transferred for open operation; postoperative angiography showed that no blood flow perfusion was observed. In operation, 2 patients felt toothache, and the toothache was relieved when ablation was ceased. One patient had hoarseness after ablation, and without special treatment his voice returned to normal in 3 months. At one, 3 and 6 months after RFA, the nodules were reduced in different degrees; CDFI and ultrasonography revealed that there was neither blood flow signals nor blood perfusion within the lesions, and compared with the preoperative manifestations these changes were statistically significant (P<0.05). During the follow-up period, the phenomenon of contrast agent re-filling in the ablated areas was not observed, which reasonably indicated that no blood vessels were formed. High frequency ultrasound examination showed that 3 nodules completely disappeared in 6 months after RFA, 22 nodules were reduced to 1/2 in diameter after one year, and 8 nodules were reduced to less than 1/2 in diameter after one year. Compared to the preoperative findings, all nodules were significantly reduced within one year after RFA, the differences were statistically significant (P<0.05). One week after RFA the indexes of thyroid function were obviously changed, and one month after RFA the indexes of thyroid function returned to the preoperative levels. Conclusion: Ultrasound - guided RFA can effectively reduce the size of benign thyroid nodules, and even make the nodules completely vanished. This technique has less complications and dose no affect thyroid function, besides, it is minimally-invasive with excellent clinical efficacy. Therefore, it is feasible, safe and effective treatment for benign thyroid nodules. Source

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