, Volume 392, Issue 4, pp 417-422
Date: 16 Feb 2007

Microscopic regional lymph node status in papillary thyroid carcinoma with and without lymphadenopathy and its relation to outcomes

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to evaluate microscopic nodal status in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) with and without lymphadenopathy and its relation to outcomes.

Materials and methods

We retrospectively analyzed 134 patients with PTC who underwent initial thyroidectomy. Forty-two patients with lymphadenopathy underwent therapeutic modified neck dissection (MND) and 92 without lymphadenopathy underwent prophylactic MND. The frequencies, numbers, and percentages of lymph node metastasis (LNM) were determined to evaluate nodal status; then, whether each nodal status influence to outcomes was analyzed. Disease-free survival (DFS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) were assessed (Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank test).

Results

Lymphadenopathy was significantly related to local recurrence and DFS, but not DSS. The frequency (100 vs 67.4%), number (15.8 vs 2.7), and percentage (49.7 vs 17.8%) were significantly higher in patients with lymphadenopathy than in those without lymphadenopathy (p < 0.0001). Similarly, these were significantly higher in patients who developed recurrence than in those who did not. Recurrence was frequent in older patients with lymphadenopathy. The frequency, number, and percentage were also higher in older patients who developed local recurrence.

Conclusions

Lymphadenopathy and microscopic nodal status are significantly related to recurrence. Only a few nodes seem to be involved pathologically when no lymphadenopathy.