Combination therapy consisting of ethanol and radiofrequency ablation for predominantly cystic thyroid nodules

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2014 Mar;35(3):582-6. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A3701. Epub 2013 Aug 22.


Predominantly cystic thyroid nodules are often aspirated before radiofrequency ablation to enhance its efficacy; however internal bleeding during the aspiration is a problem. We evaluated the feasibility and safety of ethanol ablation to control internal bleeding that occurred during preparatory aspiration. Between September 2010 and August 2011, 11 of 40 predominantly cystic nodules bled internally during fluid aspiration before radiofrequency ablation. To control the bleeding, 99% ethanol was injected. The efficacy of ethanol in controlling bleeding, final nodule volume and complications were assessed. Control of the bleeding by ethanol ablation and subsequent radiofrequency ablation was feasible in all patients. Ninety-one percent (10/11) could be treated in 1 session. The mean nodule volume dropped from 17.1 to 4.3 mL (P < .018). There were no major complications. Ethanol ablation and radiofrequency ablation combination therapy is a feasible and safe technique for treating predominantly cystic thyroid nodules that exhibit internal bleeding during preparatory aspiration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Ethanol / therapeutic use*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Nodule / pathology
  • Thyroid Nodule / therapy*


  • Ethanol