ABSTRACT: We investigated whether serum thyroglobulin determination before surgery for differentiated thyroid carcinoma may have any prognostic value with regard to tumour extension and disease outcome in a retrospective series of 71 patients with papillary thyroid cancer. Presurgical serum thyroglobulin levels were correlated with the size of the primary tumoral nodule (p = 0.006) and of the whole thyroid (p = 0.02). The same correlation was found in a control group of patients with benign thyroid nodules, confirming that presurgical serum thyroglobulin cannot be used for the differential diagnosis of thyroid carcinoma. Presurgical serum thyroglobulin levels did not differ among patients with tumor limited to thyroid gland or extending to cervical lymph nodes or invading outside the thyroid capsule or metastasising to distant size. In addition presurgical serum thyroglobulin levels were not correlated with the disease outcome after a mean follow-up of 9 years: no difference was found among patients in complete remission or with persistent disease or dead from thyroid cancer. In conclusion, this study failed to show any prognostic value of presurgical serum thyroglobulin determination that consequently should not be measured.
Thyroid 10/2005; 15(9):1041-5. · 4.79 Impact Factor