AbstractObjective: To determine the satisfactory sampling rate and safety of free hand fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and ultrasound-guided sampling of thyroid gland. Type of study: Comparative cross-sectional study. Methodology: This study was conducted at the department of surgery and Department of ENT & head and neck surgery of Saidu Teaching Hospital from January 2008 to December 2010. A total of 212 thyroid samples were included in this analysis. Out of these samples 114 were obtained with free hand while 98 were obtained under US guidance. The satisfactory sampling rate of both methods was compared. Results: During the study period a total of 212 aspirates were performed114 by free hand and 98 with U/S guidance. Among the U/S guided group 82% samples were adequate while in free hand aspiration 55% were adequate (chi square of 18.146 and p=0.0001). After excluding all the cysts and colloid nodules the adequte sampling rate in U/S guided group is 86.36% while in free hand it is 53.72 % (chi square of 16.51 and p=0.0001). This is statistically significant. No clinical complication was observed in any group. Conclusion: US guided core sampling provides more adequate samples for cytology than free hand aspiration. Key words: Fine needle aspiration cytology, ultrasound guided sampling, thyroid nodule.
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