Clinical trials have measured the rate of reduction, therapeutic success, changes in symptoms and cosmetic improvement of benign thyroid nodules.
For “cold” benign nodules (those that do not produce excess thyroid hormone), clinical trials have shown a mean reduction rate of 32.7 to 58.2% at one month, and 50.7 to 84.8% at six months. In most patients, nodule related symptoms and cosmetic problems also significantly improved or disappeared. In a long term follow-up study, radio-frequency ablation was effective over a four year period with the nodules consistently decreasing by 93.5%.
For “hot” benign thyroid nodules (those that do produce excess thyroid hormone), clinical trial have shown volume reduction rates of 52.6 to 70.7% at six months, and improved or normalized thyroid function in most patients. In a multi-center study, hyperthyroidism caused by “hot” nodules improved in all patients and was completely normalized in 81.8% of patients. This led to the conclusion that radio-frequency ablation can be considered as an alternative to thyroid surgery or radioactive iodine therapy.