alexa Contralateral papillary thyroid cancer is frequent at completion thyroidectomy with no difference in low- and high-risk patients.
Diabetes & Endocrinology

Diabetes & Endocrinology

Journal of Thyroid Disorders & Therapy

Author(s): Pacini F, Elisei R, Capezzone M, Miccoli P, Molinaro E

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Total (or near-total) thyroidectomy (TT) is considered by many as the most adequate treatment for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). In patients who have undergone lobectomy, the necessity of performing a completion thyroidectomy (CT) is still discussed. The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate tumor bilaterality in patients initially treated with partial thyroidectomy for PTC and who then underwent CT. We studied 182 patients treated with CT after lobectomy and/or isthmectomy for PTC diagnosed from 1969-1998. Mean age at diagnosis was 40+/-14.5 years and mean interval between partial thyroidectomy and CT was 19.8+/-56.8 months. At CT, 80 of 182 patients (44%) had one or more foci of tumor in the remaining thyroid lobe, always of the same papillary histotype, associated with ipsilateral lymph node metastases in 22 cases. In addition, 10 patients with no tumoral foci in the thyroid specimen had evidence of lymph node metastases. The rate of bilateral tumor was not different when patients were analyzed according to the classification of "low-" or "high-risk." Among several clinical features, the presence of lymph node metastases at the first surgical treatment and time interval between first treatment and CT were correlated with higher frequency of bilaterality (p = 0.033 and p = 0.044, respectively). The postsurgical 131I whole-body scan revealed the presence of persistent lymph node metastases or diffuse micronodular lung metastases in 7 and 6 patients, respectively. In conclusion, PTC was frequently bilateral in our series and this bilaterality was independent from the "low-" or "high-risk" classification. On these bases, we believe that PTC should be treated with TT when diagnosed before surgery and submitted to CT, if partial surgery was the initial intervention.

This article was published in Thyroid and referenced in Journal of Thyroid Disorders & Therapy

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