We compared the diagnostic performances and unnecessary FNA rates of several guidelines and modified versions using the size threshold of the ACR TIRADS. Our Institutional Review Board approved this retrospective study and waived the requirement for informed consent and all methods were performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki. A total of 1,384 thyroid nodules in 1,301 patients with definitive cytopathologic findings were included. US categories were assigned according to each guideline. We applied the size threshold suggested by the ACR TIRADS for FNA to the Kwak, ATA and EU guidelines and defined these modified guidelines as the modified Kwak (mKwak), modified ATA (mATA) and modified EU (mEU) guidelines. Diagnostic performances and unnecessary FNA rates of all guidelines were evaluated. Of 1,384 thyroid nodules, 291 (21%) were malignant. Among the original guidelines, the ACR TIRADS had the highest specificity, accuracy, LR and AUC (62.2%, 66%, 2.128 and 0.713). The mKwak, mATA and mEU guidelines had higher specificity, accuracy, LR and AUC (P < 0.001 for all), and fewer unnecessary FNAs, compared with their original guidelines. Among all original and modified guidelines, the mKwak guideline had the highest specificity, accuracy, LR and AUC (64%, 68.6%, 2.389 and 0.75). The unnecessary FNA rate was the lowest with the mKwak guideline (61.1%). The highest sensitivity was observed with the ATA guideline (98.6%). After incorporating the size threshold of the ACR TIRADS to other TIRADS, all guidelines showed higher diagnostic accuracy and lower unnecessary FNA rates than their original versions. The mKwak guideline showed the best diagnostic performances.
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