Valentina Belardini

Università degli Studi di Siena, Siena, Tuscany, Italy

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Publications (4)15.8 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The association of thyroid cancer and autoimmune thyroiditis (AIT) has been widely addressed, with conflicting results in surgical and cytological series, likely affected by selection bias. Objective: To evaluate the association between cytological features suggestive or indicative of malignancy and AIT in 2504 consecutive patients (2029 females and 475 males, mean age 58.3 ± 14.1 years) undergoing to fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) for thyroid nodules. Patients: Based on the clinical diagnosis, patients were divided into four groups: AIT with nodules (N-AIT, 14.9%); nodular Graves disease (N-GD, 2.8%); nodular goiter and negative thyroid antibodies (NGAb-, 68.4%); nodular goiter with positive thyroid antibodies (NGAb+, 13.9%). Results: The prevalence of patients with cytological features suggestive (Thy4) or indicative of malignancy (Thy5) was 4.5 % in the N-AIT group, not different compared to the other groups (N-GD 5.6%, NGAb- 5.0%, NGAb+ 4.3%). No difference was also found in the others categories (Thy2 and Thy3). When the same analysis was performed in the sub-group of patients (14.3%) with histological confirmation, we found that the prevalence of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) was significantly higher (p=0.01) in the N-AIT group (67.8%) compared with the other groups (N-GD: 40.0%, NGAb-: 37.2%, NGAb+: 36.9%). Conclusions: The results of our cytological series do not support a link between N-AIT and thyroid cancer. The association between cancer and N-AIT found in the histology based series is likely due to a selection bias represented by the fact that the prevalent indication for surgery in the N-AIT group was suspicious cytology (60.7% of patients) more frequently than in the others groups.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Background: In differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients at intermediate risk of recurrences, no evidences are provided regarding the optimal radioactive iodine (RAI) activity to be administered for post-surgical thyroid ablation. Methods: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of RAI activities on the outcome of 225 DTC patients classified as intermediate risk, treated with low (1110-1850 MBq) or high RAI activities (≥3700 MBq). Results: Six to 18 months after ablation, remission was observed in 60.0% of patients treated with low and in 60.0% of those treated with high RAI activities, biochemical disease was found in 18.8% of patients treated with low and in 14.3% of patients treated with high RAI activities, metastatic disease was found in 21.2% of patients treated with low and in 25.7% of patients treated with high RAI activities (P=0.56). At the last follow-up (low activities, median 4.2 years; high activities, median 6.9 years), remission was observed in 76.5% of patients treated with low and in 72.1% of patients treated with high RAI activities, persistent disease was observed in 18.8% of patients treated with low and in 23.5% of patients treated with high RAI activities, recurrent disease was 2.4% in patients treated with low and 2.1% in patients treated with high RAI activities, deaths occurred in 2.4% of patients treated with low and in 2.1% of patients treated with high RAI activities (P=0.87). Conclusion: Our study provides the first evidence that in DTC patients at intermediate risk, high RAI activities at ablation have no major advantage over low activities.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · European Journal of Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: After initial treatment, differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) patients are stratified as low and high risk based on clinical/pathological features. Recently, a risk stratification based on additional clinical data accumulated during follow-up has been proposed. To evaluate the predictive value of delayed risk stratification (DRS) obtained at the time of the first diagnostic control (8-12 months after initial treatment). We reviewed 512 patients with DTC whose risk assessment was initially defined according to the American (ATA) and European Thyroid Association (ETA) guidelines. At the time of the first control, 8-12 months after initial treatment, patients were re-stratified according to their clinical status: DRS. Using DRS, about 50% of ATA/ETA intermediate/high-risk patients moved to DRS low-risk category, while about 10% of ATA/ETA low-risk patients moved to DRS high-risk category. The ability of the DRS to predict the final outcome was superior to that of ATA and ETA. Positive and negative predictive values for both ATA (39.2 and 90.6% respectively) and ETA (38.4 and 91.3% respectively) were significantly lower than that observed with the DRS (72.8 and 96.3% respectively, P<0.05). The observed variance in predicting final outcome was 25.4% for ATA, 19.1% for ETA, and 62.1% for DRS. Delaying the risk stratification of DTC patients at a time when the response to surgery and radioiodine ablation is evident allows to better define individual risk and to better modulate the subsequent follow-up.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · European Journal of Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Measurement of serum Tg using ultrasensitive assays is proposed to replace TSH-stimulated Tg measurement in the follow-up of differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Aim of our study was to verify this possibility using two ultrasensitive Tg assays. We selected 215 DTC patients with undetectable (<1 ng/ml) basal serum Tg at the time of a recombinant human TSH (rhTSH) stimulation. According to standard criteria, 173 (80.4%) patients were considered free of disease, 17 (7.9%) had documented disease and 25 (11.7%) had no evidence of disease but detectable serum rhTSH-stimulated Tg (biochemical disease). The sera of these patients were re-assayed with two commercial ultrasensitive assays and the results were compared with the clinical data. Basal Access and E-Iason Tg assays were able to distinguish patients with persistent disease or free of disease with a sensitivity of 82.3 and 82.3%, specificity of 85.5 and 86.1%, positive predictive value (PPV) of 35.8 and 36.8%, negative predictive value (NPV) of 98 and 98.6%, respectively. With both assays the addition of neck ultrasound to basal Tg increased the sensitivity and the NPV to 100% and decreased the false negative rate to 0%. In patients with detectable basal Tg without evidence of disease, serum Tg converted from detectable to undetectable in about 80% of the cases during 2-yr follow-up. Our study indicates that the combination of neck ultrasound and basal ultrasensitive Tg allows to identify all patients free of disease and can decrease the need for rhTSH stimulation in nearly 80% of the patients.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2010 · Journal of endocrinological investigation