Indeterminate thyroid nodules: A challenge for the surgical strategy
ABSTRACT Because no clinical parameter can establish the final status of a cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodule (ITN) or nodal-metastases in case of malignancy, the initial surgical strategy should define an oncologically adequate procedure with low morbidity.
The prognostic relevance of sex, age, tumor sizes, multifocality, thyroid function, and recurrence was analyzed in 156 consecutive patients according to the presence of malignancy and nodal metastases. The accuracy of frozen sections to reveal malignancy was determined. Clinical parameters were compared with regard to their ability to identify malignancy and nodal metastases in an ITN to determine an appropriate initial operative strategy.
One hundred and eighteen (75.6%) patients underwent (total) thyroidectomy, 37 (23.7%) patients underwent hemithyroidectomy, and 1 patient underwent isthmus resection. Fifty-five (35.3%) patients showed malignancy. First step lymphadenectomy (lymph node dissection along the recurrent laryngeal nerve before removing the thyroid lobe) was performed in 142 patients documenting 10 nodal metastases. Comparing benign and malignant ITN, no association was found for sex (P = .17), age (P = 1.0), tumor sizes (P = .33, P = .12, P = .19 for < or =30 mm, < or =40 mm, and < or =50 mm, respectively), or thyroid function (P = .26). The determination of malignancy by frozen section showed a sensitivity of 30.9% and a specificity of 100%. No permanent hypoparathyroidism or recurrent laryngeal nerve palsy was observed postoperatively.
Because of the failure of available clinical parameters to predict malignancy in cytologically ITN, hemithyroidectomy in unilateral goiter and thyroidectomy in bilateral goiter is recommended. Ipsilateral "first step central neck dissection" on the side of ITN offers the advantages of oncologically adequate resection and staging with a low morbidity, as well as avoids reoperation.
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ABSTRACT: Although fine-needle aspiration cytology remains the mainstay of the preoperative workup of thyroid nodules, those with follicular proliferation still represent a diagnostic challenge. Real-time elastography (RTE) estimates the stiffness/elasticity of lesions and is regarded as a promising technique for the presurgical selection of thyroid nodules (including those with indeterminate cytology). Our aim was to verify the potential role of RTE in the presurgical diagnosis of cancer in a large cohort of consecutive patients with follicular thyroid nodules. One hundred two patients were submitted to conventional ultrasonography and RTE evaluation before being operated on for thyroid nodule with indeterminate cytology (54% single nodules). Tissue stiffness on RTE was scored from 1 (greatest elasticity) to 4 (no elasticity). At conventional ultrasonography examination, the nodules (median diameter 2.2 cm) were solid (cystic areas < 10%); microcalcifications were detected in 56% of them and a hypoechoic pattern in 64%. Elasticity was high in eight cases only (score 1-2) although low in 94 (score 3-4). Cancer was diagnosed in 36 nodules (35%), being associated with microcalcifications (P < 0.0001) and inversely related to nodule diameter (P < 0.01). Malignancy was detected in 50% of the nodules with RTE score 1-2 and in 34% of those with score 3-4. Therefore, either the positive (34%) or the negative predictive value (50%) was clinically negligible. The current study does not confirm the recently reported usefulness of RTE in presurgical selection of nodules with indeterminate cytology and suggest the need for quantitative analytical assessment of nodule stiffness to improve RTE efficacy.The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 08/2011; 96(11):E1826-30. DOI:10.1210/jc.2011-1021 · 6.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Molecular testing of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) results helps diagnose thyroid cancer, although the additional cost of this adjunct has not been studied. We hypothesized that FNA molecular testing of two indeterminate categories (follicular lesion of undetermined significance and follicular/Hürthle cell neoplasm) can be cost saving. For a hypothetical group of euthyroid patients with a 1-cm or larger solitary thyroid nodule, a decision-tree model was constructed to compare the estimated costs of initial evaluation according to the current American Thyroid Association guidelines, either with molecular testing (MT) or without [standard of care (StC)]. Model endpoints were either benign FNA results or definitive histological diagnosis. Molecular testing added $104 per patient to the overall cost of nodule evaluation (StC $578 vs. MT $682). In this distributed cost model, MT was associated with a decrease in the number of diagnostic lobectomies (9.7% vs. StC 11.6%), whereas initial total thyroidectomy was more frequent (18.2% vs. StC 16.1%). Although MT use added a diagnostic cost of $5031 to each additional indicated total thyroidectomy ($11,383), the cumulative cost was still less than the comparable cost of performing lobectomy ($7684) followed by completion thyroidectomy ($11,954) in the StC pathway, when indicated by histological results. In sensitivity analysis, savings were demonstrated if molecular testing cost was less than $870. Molecular testing of cytologically indeterminate FNA results is cost saving predominantly because of reduction in two-stage thyroidectomy. Appropriate use of emerging molecular testing techniques may thus help optimize patient care, improve resource use, and avoid unnecessary operation.The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 03/2012; 97(6):1905-12. DOI:10.1210/jc.2011-3048 · 6.31 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The reported risk of hypothyroidism after hemithyroidectomy shows considerable heterogeneity in literature. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to determine the overall risk of hypothyroidism, both clinical and subclinical, after hemithyroidectomy. Furthermore, we aimed to identify risk factors for postoperative hypothyroidism. A systematic literature search was performed using several databases, including PubMed. Original articles in which an incidence or prevalence of hypothyroidism after primary hemithyroidectomy could be extracted were included. Study identification and data extraction were performed independently by two reviewers. In case of disagreement, a third reviewer was consulted. A total of 32 studies were included in this meta-analysis. Meta-analysis was performed using logistic regression with random effect at study level. The overall risk of hypothyroidism after hemithyroidectomy was 22% (95% confidence interval, 19-27). A clear distinction between clinical (supranormal TSH levels and subnormal thyroid hormone levels) and subclinical (supranormal TSH levels and thyroid hormone levels within the normal range) hypothyroidism was provided in four studies. These studies reported on an estimated risk of 12% for subclinical hypothyroidism and 4% for clinical hypothyroidism. Positive anti-thyroid peroxidase status is a relevant preoperative indicator of hypothyroidism after surgery. Effect estimates did not differ substantially between studies with lower risk of bias and studies with higher risk of bias. This meta-analysis showed that approximately one in five patients will develop hypothyroidism after hemithyroidectomy, with clinical hypothyroidism in one of 25 operated patients.The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 04/2012; 97(7):2243-55. DOI:10.1210/jc.2012-1063 · 6.31 Impact Factor