Thyroid core needle biopsy: patients' pain and satisfaction compared to fine needle aspiration

Endocrine. 2019 Aug;65(2):365-370. doi: 10.1007/s12020-019-01973-2. Epub 2019 Jun 15.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare patients' pain and satisfaction of fine needle aspiration (FNA) and core needle biopsy (CNB) for a thyroid nodule.

Methods: We consecutively enrolled patients with thyroid nodules who underwent ultrasound-guided FNA or CNB in our institution. The patients answered a questionnaire about pain scores during the procedure, immediately after the procedure and 20 min after the procedure, and any complication after the biopsy. Through a phone interview which was conducted 2 weeks after the procedure, a researcher asked the patients about residual pain and overall subjective satisfaction score about the procedures. Patients were also asked to report any complication or complaint after the procedures on the phone interview.

Results: The 167 patients who had undergone thyroid FNA (n = 87) or CNB (n = 80) were included. The pain scores were not significantly different between the two groups during the procedure and after the procedure. Overall satisfaction scores after 2 weeks were not different, either. There was no acute or delayed major complication in both groups.

Conclusions: Differences regarding patients' pain and satisfaction scores between CNB and FNA were not demonstrated.

Keywords: Core needle biopsy; Fine needle aspiration; Pain; Thyroid nodule.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle / adverse effects*
  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle / statistics & numerical data
  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle / adverse effects*
  • Biopsy, Large-Core Needle / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data*
  • Thyroid Nodule / diagnosis*