1.1 The evidence on the safety of high-intensity focused ultrasound for symptomatic benign thyroid nodules raises no major safety concerns, however the current evidence on its efficacy is limited in quantity and quality. Therefore, this procedure should only be used with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent, and audit or research.
1.2 Clinicians wishing to do high-intensity focused ultrasound for symptomatic benign thyroid nodules should:
Inform the clinical governance leads in their NHS trusts.
Ensure that patients understand the procedure's safety and efficacy, as well as any uncertainties about these. Provide them with clear written information to support shared decision making. In addition, the use of NICE's information for the public is recommended.
Audit and review clinical outcomes of all patients having high-intensity focused ultrasound for symptomatic benign thyroid nodules. NICE has identified relevant audit criteria and has developed an audit tool (which is for use at local discretion).
1.3 Further research should report details of patient selection, nodule size and position, and whether the nodule is cystic.