World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 42, Issue 5, pp 1424–1431 | Cite as

Case–Control Study of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma on Urinary and Dietary Iodine Status in South Korea

  • Joon-Hyop Lee
  • Ra-Yeong Song
  • Jin Wook Yi
  • Hyeong Won Yu
  • Hyungju Kwon
  • Su-jin Kim
  • Young Jun Chai
  • June Young Choi
  • Jae Hoon Moon
  • Kyu Eun LeeEmail author
  • Young Joo Park
  • Sue K. Park
Original Scientific Report



The association between iodine levels and the risk of papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) has been suggested, but not definitively established. This study is to compare the iodine status of a group of patients with PTC (with and without BRAF V600E) with that of a healthy population cohort.


A cohort of patients scheduled for thyroidectomy was enrolled, along with a community-based health-screening cohort with no known history of thyroid disease. Median urinary iodine (UI) levels, creatinine-adjusted median UI levels, and food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) scores (mean ± SD) were compared. In a subgroup analysis, these values were compared between BRAF V600E-positive and BRAF V600E-negative patients in the PTC group.


The PTC group consisted of 210 patients, and the control group consisted of 90 healthy individuals. Among the 191 PTC patients whose BRAF V600E mutational status was reported, 169 (88.5%) were revealed positive for the mutation. The median UI levels were significantly higher in the PTC group (786.0 μg/l) than the control group (112.0 μg/l; p < 0.001), as was the case with creatinine-adjusted median UI levels (884.6 μg/g creatinine versus 182.0 μg/g creatinine; p < 0.001) and FFQ scores (66.2 ± 17.5, range 13–114 versus 54.6 ± 21.5, range 16–134; p < 0.001). No significant differences were seen in the subgroup analysis between BRAF V600E-positive and BRAF V600E-negative patients.


Our results indicate that iodine status differs significantly between patients with PTC and healthy controls, suggesting that iodine may be involved in the occurrence of PTC, although the association between iodine levels and BRAF mutational status did not reach statistical significance.


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors involved in this study have actual or potential competing conflict of interests to declare.


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Copyright information

© Société Internationale de Chirurgie 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joon-Hyop Lee
    • 1
    • 8
  • Ra-Yeong Song
    • 2
  • Jin Wook Yi
    • 2
  • Hyeong Won Yu
    • 2
  • Hyungju Kwon
    • 2
  • Su-jin Kim
    • 2
    • 3
  • Young Jun Chai
    • 4
  • June Young Choi
    • 1
  • Jae Hoon Moon
    • 5
  • Kyu Eun Lee
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Young Joo Park
    • 3
    • 6
  • Sue K. Park
    • 3
    • 7
  1. 1.Department of SurgerySeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnam-siRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of SurgerySeoul National University Hospital and College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Cancer Research InstituteSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of SurgerySeoul National University Hospital Boramae Medical CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnam-siRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Department of Internal MedicineSeoul National University Hospital and College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  7. 7.Department of Preventive MedicineSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  8. 8.Thyroid and Endocrine Surgery Section, Department of SurgeryGachon University Gil Medical CenterIncheonRepublic of Korea

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