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Background: Thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytology are increasingly subjected to molecular testing. We evaluated the diagnostic performances of Afirma Genomic Sequencing Classifier (GSC) and ThyroSeq v3 in thyroid nodules with high versus low/intermediate suspicion ultrasound classification. Methods: In this prospective cohort study, we analyzed all Bethesda III and IV thyroid nodules that underwent fine-needle aspiration biopsies in the University of California Los Angeles Health System from July 2017 to April 2020. All patients underwent molecular testing with Afirma GSC or ThyroSeq v3 as part of an institutional randomized trial (NCT02681328). Nodules were categorized according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA) ultrasound risk classification. The benign call rate and the positive predictive value of molecular testing were compared between ATA high suspicion versus all other categories. Results: A total of 343 patients with 375 indeterminate thyroid nodules were included. The malignancy rate in ATA high suspicion nodules was not significantly increased by a suspicious Afirma GSC result (77.8% for all ATA high suspicion nodules vs. 87.5% for nodules with ATA high suspicion and suspicious Afirma GSC results, positive likelihood ratio [LR] = 2.0, 95% confidence interval [CI 0.5-8.0], p = 1.0) or by a positive ThyroSeq v3 result (80.0% vs. 80.0%, positive LR = 1.0 [CI 1.0-1.0], p = 1.0). The rate of malignancy in ATA low/intermediate suspicion nodules increased from 21.0% to 56.3% with a suspicious Afirma GSC result (positive LR = 4.8 [CI 3.4-6.9], p 

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





905 - 916


clinical research, general, surgery-adult thyroid, thyroid cancer-clinical, thyroid nodules, Humans, Molecular Diagnostic Techniques, Prospective Studies, Risk Factors, Thyroid Neoplasms, Thyroid Nodule