Hemithyroidectomy: The optimal initial surgical approach for individuals undergoing surgery for a cytological diagnosis of follicular neoplasm

Sam M. Wiseman, Christopher Baliski, Robert Irvine, Donald Anderson, Graeme Wilkins, Douglas Filipenko, Hongbin Zhang, Sam Bugis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The primary objective of this study was to determine the true proportion and optimal surgical approach for individuals undergoing thyroid operation for a suspicion of cancer based on a fine-needle aspiration biopsy diagnosis of a follicular neoplasm (FN). A secondary objective of this study was to determine whether patient characteristics could assist the clinician in predicting malignancy in this FN patient cohort. Methods: A retrospective chart, pathology, and cytology review of 370 consecutive primary thyroid operations was performed over a 4-year period at a tertiary care referral center. Clinical patient data were evaluated as an adjunct for predicting malignancy in the FN patient cohort. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to investigate the association and the predictability. Results: A total of 80 (22%) of the 370 patients underwent hemithyroidectomy to rule out cancer based on clinical presentation with a fine-needle aspiration biopsy diagnosis of FN. Fifteen (19%) of the FN cases were diagnosed as cancer by histological analysis (4 follicular carcinomas and 11 papillary carcinomas). Hemithyroidectomy was considered adequate treatment for 77 patients (96%). No patient characteristic significantly predicted the presence of cancer by either univariate or multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Overall, in the FN patient population, five hemithyroidectomies were performed to identify each cancer, and no further operation was required in 96% of patients. New diagnostic tools are needed to reduce the number of operations performed for benign pathology in patients with nodular thyroid disease and a needle biopsy diagnosis of FN.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-432
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2006

Keywords

  • Follicular neoplasm
  • Hemithyroidectomy
  • Needle biopsy
  • Thyroid cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology

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