Clinical complications following thyroid fine-needle biopsy: a systematic review

Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 Aug;71(2):157-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2009.03522.x. Epub 2009 Jan 19.


Thyroid fine-needle biopsy (FNB) is a simple, reliable, inexpensive and generally safe diagnostic procedure in the management of thyroid nodules. Post-FNB local pain and minor haematomas are the most common complications, while serious complications seem to be rare. Given that use of FNB minimizes unnecessary surgery and subsequent operative morbidity and mortality as well as the fact that the majority of FNB complications resolve spontaneously, the overall safety of FNB is not questioned. However, awareness of the potential complications and careful estimation of the risk-benefit ratio in an individual basis may further decrease the low morbidity of FNB. In this systematic review we tried to collect and summarize all reported clinical complications following diagnostic thyroid FNB, aiming to make physicians aware of possible complications and to provide preventive measures to avoid them.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Thyroid Nodule / complications
  • Thyroid Nodule / diagnosis*
  • Thyroid Nodule / pathology