To evaluate the malignancy rate of focal thyroid incidentaloma (fTI) in a population of patients undergoing a 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography–computed tomography (FDG PET–CT) for a non-thyroid purpose.
We conducted a prospective cohort study from January 2013 to November 2014. All consecutive patients referred for a FDG PET–CT were prospectively screened. Patients with known neoplastic thyroid disease were excluded from the analysis. All patients presenting one or more fTI and who accepted to benefit from a complementary thyroid ultrasonography (US) were included and managed according to the French endocrine society consensus. Prevalence of fTI in our population and malignancy rate was assessed.
During the inclusion period, 10,171 patients were referred for a FDG PET–CT in our center. Fifty-three patients presenting a known thyroid disease were excluded. Among the remaining 10,118 patients, 127 (1.3%) with 131 fTI were individualized. US could not be performed in 37 patients. The remaining 90 patients (92 fTI) were explored by US ± fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). US results demonstrated a nodule aspect in 80 cases of which 60 benefited from FNAB. Nineteen of 92 fTI underwent surgery with 10 malignant lesions among the 60 patients performing both US and FNAB.
The prevalence of fTI discovered on FDG PET–CT in our population was 1.3% with 10 malignant lesions among the 60 patients performing both US and FNAB.