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Pediatric Fine Needle Aspiration

What is the thyroid gland?

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ found in the neck just below the Adam’s apple. The thyroid gland is responsible for producing thyroid hormone, an important hormone that stimulates the metabolism of the body.

What is a fine needle aspirate (FNA) of the thyroid?

First, your child's doctor in the Children's National Hospital Interventional Radiology program will perform an ultrasound to look for abnormal-looking areas (nodules, cysts or masses) on the thyroid gland. The doctor will insert a very thin needle into the gland and withdraw a tiny sample of tissue or fluid. Another doctor will look at the sample under a microscope to determine what might be wrong. The lab results will be sent to the referring physician who will communicate with you. It usually takes a couple of days to get the lab results.