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Charlotte Lepoutre-Lussey, Dina Maddah, Jean-Louis Golmard, Gilles Russ, Frédérique Tissier, Christophe Trésallet, Fabrice Menegaux, André Aurengo, and Laurence Leenhardt

Objective

Cervical ultrasound (US) scan is a key tool for detecting metastatic lymph nodes (N1) in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). N1-PTC patients are stratified as intermediate-risk and high-risk (HR) patients, according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA) and European Thyroid Association (ETA) respectively. The aim of this study was to assess the value of post-operative cervical US (POCUS) in local persistent disease (PD) diagnosis and in the reassessment of risk stratification in N1-PTC patients.

Design

Retrospective cohort study.

Methods

Between 1997 and 2010, 638 N1-PTC consecutive patients underwent a systematic POCUS. Sensitivity, specificity, negative predictive value (NPV), and positive predictive value (PPV) of POCUS for the detection of PD were evaluated and a risk reassessment using cumulative incidence functions was carried out.

Results

After a median follow-up of 41.6 months, local recurrence occurred in 138 patients (21.6%), of which 121 were considered to have PD. Sensitivity, specificity, NPV, and PPV of POCUS for the detection of the 121 PD were 82.6, 87.4 95.6, and 60.6% respectively. Cumulative incidence of recurrence at 5 years was estimated at 26% in ETA HR patients, 17% in ATA intermediate-risk patients, and 35% in ATA HR patients respectively. This risk fell to 9, 8, and 11% in the above three groups when the POCUS result was normal and to <6% when it was combined with thyroglobulin results at ablation.

Conclusion

POCUS is useful for detecting PD in N1-PTC patients and for stratifying individual recurrence risk. Its high NPV could allow clinicians to tailor follow-up recommendations to individual needs.

Free access

Camille Buffet, Jean Louis Golmard, Catherine Hoang, Christophe Trésallet, Laurence Du Pasquier Fédiaevsky, Hélène Fierrard, André Aurengo, Fabrice Menegaux, and Laurence Leenhardt

Context

Papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (PMC) defined as tumors ≤10 mm in diameter (including pT1a and pT3 according to the latest pTNM classification) have good prognosis, although recurrence is possible. Clinicians are interested in using a scoring system for predicting recurrences.

Objective

To identify the prognostic factors for recurrence in patients with PMC and to develop a scoring system based on lymph node involvement, multifocality, and sex. To determine the impact of extrathyroidal invasion (ETI) and a threshold value for analyzing multifocality.

Methods

Single-center retrospective study of a cohort of 1669 patients with PMC managed from 1960 to 2007. The Kaplan–Meier survival rate and prognostic factors of events were analyzed using log-rank tests and uni- and multivariate Cox model-based analyses. A scoring system was proposed.

Results

Sixty-eight recurrences were observed. Initial lymph node metastases (P=0.0001), multifocality (P=0.05), and male sex (P=0.01) were significantly associated with recurrence, although there was a period effect (after 1990). PMC size was not a significant variable. Our scoring system allows us to separate patients into three risk groups according to their recurrence-free probability. For PMC Nx patients, total foci size of multifocal tumors >20 mm was significantly associated with recurrence (P<0.0001). Radioiodine (RAI) ablation was associated with better outcome only in PMC with ETI.

Conclusion

Our scoring system classifies recurrence risk. In PMC Nx patients, multifocality is important in planning therapeutic strategies. Recurrence probability of pT3 PMC appears lower if RAI ablation is performed.