Needling the Thyroid (and Thyroid Surgeons?)

Will G. Ryan, MD
Arch Intern Med. 1983;143(12):2249. doi:10.1001/archinte.1983.00350120039010.
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In this issue of the Archives (p 2285), Treece et al describe a simple and uniformly effective procedure for sclerosis of recurrent thyroid cysts with tetracycline, which seems to be a major advance in the nonsurgical management of this problem. However, sclerosis of thyroid cysts is not new. About a decade ago, Crile (the "dean," in the United States at least, of needle biopsy and aspiration of thyroid nodules) and Hawk1 referred somewhat casually to their experience with sclerosis of thyroid cysts with sodium tetradecyl sulfate (an agent commonly used for sclerosing of varicose veins), at the suggestion of Dr Robert Herman, who I assume was one of their surgical colleagues at the time. Apparently their experience was not uniformly successful, as they stated, "It is our impression, difficult to sustain by statistical proof because of selection, that recurrences are fewer in patients treated with

See also p 2285.


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