European radiology 2018 01 12() doi 10.1007/s00330-017-5200-6
To assess severity and factors of pain during high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) ablation of benign thyroid nodules.
128 patients who underwent a HIFU ablation for a benign thyroid nodule were analysed. All patients received a bolus of intravenous pethidine and diazepam before treatment. After treatment, patients were asked to rate their overall pain experience on a visual analogue scale (0-100) (0 = no pain; 100 = worse possible pain) during treatment, 2 h after treatment and the following morning. Binary logistic regression was performed to evaluate associated factors for pain including patient demographics, nodule size, body mass index (BMI) and treatment parameters.
At T1, median (range) pain score was 65.0 (0.00-100.00). Only 16 (12.5 %) patients had a pain score of zero. In multivariate analysis, only lower BMI (OR 1.265, 95 % CI 1.102-1.452, p=0.001) and longer nodule diameter (OR 1.462, 95 % CI 1.071-1.996, p=0.017) were independent factors for pain score at T1 ≤ 65.0.
A moderate to severe amount of pain was reported during ablation of benign thyroid nodules in over 50 % of patients. Patients’ BMI and length of nodule diameter were independent variables for pain during HIFU ablation.
• Pain was moderate to severe during HIFU ablation of thyroid nodules. • Only one in eight patients reported no pain during ablation. • Level of energy per pulse did not affect pain. • Patients with lower BMI and larger nodules had less pain.