Radiofrequency Ablation For Benign Thyroid Nodules: A Case Study


Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive technique, used with ultrasound or computed tomography guidance, which can produce tissue coagulation necrosis in various kinds of tumours in the human body. In the past 10 years, numerous studies about RFA in benign thyroid nodules have been published. Reviewing these studies, we noticed that the effectiveness of ablation was higher when it was performed with the “moving-shot technique” via an internally cooled electrode. A consensus statement published from the Korean Society of Radiology also suggested the moving-shot technique as a standard ablation procedure for benign thyroid nodule ablation in Korea. In Taiwan, most symptomatic benign nodules are currently treated with surgical removal. RFA for mass lesions is primarily performed for the treatment of metastatic hepatic tumours. In our case, we have attempted to introduce RFA for benign thyroid nodules in Taiwan. Because endocrinologists in Taiwan were not familiar with this technique, we adopted a stepwise approach in learning how to perform RFA. We conducted ex vivo animal ablation exercises to gain experience in setting the radiofrequency generator for the right ablation mode and appropriate power output. The thyroid nodule volume reduction rate after 1 year of follow up was approximately 50% in this case. The most important thing we learned from this trial is that we confirmed the safety of thyroid nodule ablation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported study of RFA of a thyroid nodule in Taiwan.

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