Treatment of autonomous thyroid nodules with percutaneous ethanol injection: preliminary results. Work in progress

Radiology. 1990 Jun;175(3):827-9. doi: 10.1148/radiology.175.3.2188302.


Eight patients with autonomous thyroid nodules 2.4-4.3 cm in diameter received percutaneous ethanol injections (PEIs) under guidance by means of ultrasound (US). Sterile ethanol at 95% was injected with a 22-gauge needle and a 7.5-MHz probe with a guide device. Each patient received one or two treatments, with 1-3 mL of alcohol (depending on the nodule size) per treatment, each week for a total of three to six injections per lesion. After a total of 36 injections in all eight patients, there were no complications. Follow-up ranged from 2 to 10 months. After therapy, symptoms subsided and hormonal levels became normal or reached the range of subclinical hypothyroidism. Scintigrams showed that the previously suppressed thyroid tissue had resumed functioning. At US, all nodules had shrunk. PEI was risk free and easy to perform. If these preliminary results are confirmed in a larger study with longer follow-up, the new treatment may become an alternative to surgical or radioiodine ablation of autonomous thyroid nodules.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage*
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Goiter, Nodular / diagnosis
  • Goiter, Nodular / diagnostic imaging
  • Goiter, Nodular / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Ultrasonography


  • Ethanol