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Mario Rotondi, Valentina Capelli, Francesca Coperchini, Sara Pinto, Laura Croce, Massimo Tonacchera, and Luca Chiovato

Design

Graves’ disease (GD) patients in remission after a full course of methimazole (MMI) therapy are at risk for a relapse of hyperthyroidism during the post-partum (PP) period, but whether this relapse may display any peculiarity is still unknown. Aim of this study was to compare GD patients undergoing a relapse of hyperthyroidism either in the PP period or not.

Methods

We retrospectively evaluated forty-three GD female patients in their childbearing age who experienced a relapse of hyperthyroidism. Eighteen of them relapsed in the PP period (i.e. within 12 months after delivery, PP group); the remaining 25 relapsed elsewhere during life (NPP group).

Results

Age at relapse, thyroid volume, thyroid function tests, TRAb titers, smoking habit, presence and degree of orbitopathy and duration of methimazole (MMI) treatment did not differ in the two groups. However, the remission rate was much greater (79%) in the PP as compared with the NPP (32%) group (P = 0.002). A significant reduction in TRAb levels occurred at 12-month MMI treatment in the PP (F = 9.016; P = 0.001), but not in the NPP group (F = 2.433; NS). At 12 months, the PP group had significantly lower mean TRAb levels (0.6 ± 1.1 U/L and 4.5 ± 4.7 U/L in the PP and the NPP group, respectively; P = 0.029).

Conclusions

Relapsing Graves’ hyperthyroidism in the PP period is more prone to undergo a remission after a second course of MMI treatment. In these patients, a conservative therapeutic approach is more appropriate.

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Mario Rotondi, Martina Molteni, Carlo Cappelli, Laura Croce, Alessandro Caputo, Gloria Groppelli, Federico Liboà, Valeria Guazzoni, Laura Villani, Pio Zeppa, and Luca Chiovato

Objective

Indeterminate cytological result at Fine-needle-aspiration-cytology (FNAC) remains a clinical challenge for endocrinologists. Aim of the present study was to evaluate whether a coexistent Chronic-Autoimmune-Thyroiditis (CAT) might affect the diagnostic accuracy of fine-needle aspiration cytology for thyroid nodules.

Design and Methods

A retrospective cohort study was designed including all nodules receiving an indeterminate cytology result (TIR3A or TIR3B) undergoing thyroid surgery and subsequent histological confirmation. Patients were stratified in two groups according to the presence or absence of CAT.

The hypothesis to be tested was whether follicular cell alterations induced by CAT might increase the rate of indeterminate cytological results in histologically benign thyroid nodules. Additional control groups were represented by nodules with determinate cytology, either benign (TIR 2) or malignant (TIR5).

Results:

One-hundred-eighty-nine indeterminate thyroid nodules were included (67 TIR3A and 122 TIR3B). At post-surgical histology 46 nodules (24.3%) were malignant. No significant differences were observed in the rate of histologically proven malignancy between patients without CAT and patients with CAT in the TIR3B (29.4% vs 32.4%; p=0.843) nor TIR3A (13.0% vs 11.4%; p=1.000) nodules. The rate of coexistent CAT was similar between TIR3B and TIR5 nodules harboring PTC at histology (30.4% vs 39.4%, p=0.491) and between indeterminate nodules and a control group of TIR2 nodules (39.2% vs 37.0%; p=0.720).

Conclusions: The similar rates of histologically proven malignancy found in cytologically indeterminate nodules in the presence or absence of concomitant CAT, would not support that CAT itself affects the diagnostic accuracy of fine-needle aspiration cytology.

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Flavia Magri, Spyridon Chytiris, Laura Croce, Martina Molteni, Giulia Bendotti, Giovanni Gruosso, Samuel Tata Ngnitejeu, Manuela Agozzino, Mario Rotondi, and Luca Chiovato

Objective:

The ultrasonographic scores EU TI-RADS and ACR TI-RADS were introduced to give the clinicians indications for fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). The predictive role of these scores was never evaluated and compared in a surgical series of patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ex post diagnostic accuracy of EU TI-RADS and ACR TI-RADS in a real-life series of thyroidectomized patients and to evaluate the ‘missing’ thyroid cancer following the operational indications of these scores.

Design:

Retrospective monocentric cohort study.

Methods:

In total, 255 patients (harboring 304 nodules) undergoing thyroidectomy for benign and malignant thyroid conditions were enrolled. The prevalence of thyroid malignancy for each class of ACR TI-RADS and EU TI-RADS, their diagnostic accuracy, the number of ‘unnecessary’ FNAC and the number of ‘missed’ cancers were evaluated.

Results:

ACR TI-RADS and EU TI-RADS score had similar and satisfactory accuracy values for predicting thyroid malignancy (AUC: 0.835 for ACR TI-RADS vs 0.827 for EU TI-RADS). The ACR TI-RADS and EU TI-RADS categories (suspicious vs non-suspicious), age, sex and presence of a single nodule significantly and independently predicted the presence of malignancy in a logistic regression model. An ex post analysis according to the indications for FNAC for each score indicated that 31 and 16 cases of cancer would have been missed by ACR TI-RADS and EU TI-RADS scores, respectively.

Conclusions:

ACR TI-RADS and EU TI-RADS display a good performance in predicting thyroid cancer when histology is taken as reference standard, but additional clinical judgement is required to decide the indication for FNAC.

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Mario Rotondi, Gloria Groppelli, Laura Croce, Francesco Latrofa, Giuseppe Ancona, Francesca Coperchini, Daniela Pasquali, Carlo Cappelli, Alessandro Fugazza, Valeria Guazzoni, Giorgio Radetti, and Luca Chiovato

Objective:

The association between chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) and differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) remains controversial. The incidence of DTC increases when screening procedures are implemented, as typically occurs in CAT patients being routinely submitted to thyroid ultrasound (US). The aim of this study was to longitudinally evaluate the long-term development of DTC in patients with CAT.

Design and methods:

A retrospective longitudinal cohort study was designed. For the study, 510 patients with chronic autoimmune thyroiditis (CAT) with a 10-year follow-up were enrolled. Patients were divided in two groups according to the presence (CAT+ NOD+; n = 115) or absence (CAT+ NOD−; n = 395) of co-existent nodules at diagnosis. The main outcome measures were appearance of new thyroid-nodules and development of DTC during follow-up.

Results:

During a 10-year median follow-up period, new thyroid-nodules were detected in 34/115 (29.5%) patients in the CAT+ NOD+ group and in 41/395 (10.3%) in the CAT+ NOD− group (P < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis showed that thyroid-volume at diagnosis and belonging to the CAT+ NOD+ group significantly predicted the appearance of a new thyroid nodule during follow-up, independently of baseline age and sex. Among the 75 patients experiencing the appearance of a new nodule, 27 (39%) met the criteria for fine-needle-aspiration-cytology (FNAC). A benign cytological diagnosis was rendered in all cases.

Conclusions:

In our series of CAT patients, the appearance of new thyroid-nodules was frequent, but none of them were found to be malignant. The presence of CAT appears to be associated with a negligible risk of developing clinically overt DTC.