The Bethesda System thyroid diagnostic categories in the African-American population in conjunction with surgical pathology follow-up

Pamela Anne Archuletta, Raja Gidwani, Mujtaba Husain, Teresa Johnson, Vinod Shidham, Opada Alzohaili, Sudeshna Bandyopadhyay, Jining Feng, Dongping Shi, Lili Geng, Paul Tranchida, Tamar Giorgadze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It has been reported that African-Americans (AA) have a higher prevalence of overall malignancy compared to Caucasians, in the United States, yet the incidence of thyroid malignancy is half. The aim of this study is to assess the rate of malignant versus benign thyroid disease in AA from an urban-based hospital with an academic setting. Our study analyzed the AA population with respect to fine needle aspiration (FNA) of thyroid lesions, in correlation with final surgical pathology. This is the first study of its kind to our knowledge. Design: We retrospectively reviewed thyroid FNA cytology between January 2005 and February 2011. Consecutive FNA specimens with corresponding follow-up surgical pathology were included. The patients were categorized as African-American (AA) and Non-African-American (NAA), which included Caucasians (C), Hispanics (H), and Others (O). The FNA results were classified using the latest edition of The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (TBS-Thy) and the follow-up surgical pathology was used for the final categorization. Results: We studied 258 cases: 144 AA (56%) and 114 NAA [43 C (17%), 3 H (1%), and 68 O (28%)]. The average age for AA was 51 years (range 20-88) and for NAA was 53 years (range 25-86). There were more females than males in the AA versus the NAA group (85 vs. 75%). The incidence of thyroid lesions in the FNA specimens was similar between these two populations. The distribution of benign versus malignant diagnosis on follow-up surgical pathology was examined across TBS-Thy class. Conclusion: Our data suggest that distribution of benign versus malignant lesions in the thyroid FNA of AA versus NAA, with follow-up surgical pathology, is comparable for TBS-Thy classes, non-diagnostic (I), benign (II), suspicious for malignancy (V), and malignant (VI) in AA versus NAA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • African-American
  • FNA
  • thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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