CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 1023–1030 | Cite as

Treatment of Metastatic Lymph Nodes in the Neck from Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma with Percutaneous Laser Ablation

  • Giovanni MauriEmail author
  • Luca Cova
  • Tiziana Ierace
  • Alberto Baroli
  • Enzo Di Mauro
  • Claudio Maurizio Pacella
  • Shraga Nahum Goldberg
  • Luigi Solbiati
Clinical Investigation



To assess the effectiveness of percutaneous laser ablation (PLA) of cervical lymph node metastases from papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Materials and Methods

24 patients (62.3 ± 13.2 year; range 32–80) previously treated with thyroidectomy, neck dissection, and radioiodine ablation underwent ultrasound-guided PLA of 46 18FDG-PET/CT—positive metachronous nodal metastases. All patients were at high surgical risk or refused surgery and were unsuitable for additional radioiodine ablation. A 300 µm quartz fiber and a continuous-wave Nd-YAG laser operating at 1.064 mm were used. Technical success, rate of complications, rate of serological conversion, and local control at follow-up were derived. Fisher’s exact test and Mann–Whitney U test were used and Kaplan–Meier curve calculated.


Technical success was obtained in all 46 lymph nodes (100 %). There were no major complications. Thyroglobulin levels decreased from 8.40 ± 9.25 ng/ml before treatment to 2.73 ± 4.0 ng/ml after treatment (p = 0.011), with serological conversion in 11/24 (45.8 %) patients. Overall, local control was obtained in 40/46 (86.9 %) lymph nodes over 30 ± 11 month follow-up, with no residual disease seen at imaging in 19/24 (79.1 %) patients. Local control was achieved in 40/46 (86.9 %) lymph nodes at 1 year and in all of the 25 nodes (100 %) followed for 3 years. Estimated mean time to progression was 38.6 ± 2.7 m.


Ultrasound-guided PLA is a feasible, safe, and effective therapy for the treatment of cervical lymph node metastases from papillary thyroid carcinoma.


Laser Percutaneous ablation Thyroid neoplasm Neoplasm metastasis Positron emission tomography 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Shraga Nahum Goldberg sponsored research Cosman Company, Research consultant Cosman Company, Angiodynamics, and XACT medical. Giovanni Mauri is a consultant for Esaote S.p.A. All the other authors have nothing to disclose.

Ethical standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Mauri
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Luca Cova
    • 3
  • Tiziana Ierace
    • 4
  • Alberto Baroli
    • 5
  • Enzo Di Mauro
    • 5
  • Claudio Maurizio Pacella
    • 6
  • Shraga Nahum Goldberg
    • 7
  • Luigi Solbiati
    • 4
    • 8
  1. 1.Division of Interventional RadiologyEuropean Institute of OncologyMilanItaly
  2. 2.Servizio di RadiologiaIRCCS Policlinico San DonatoSan Donato MilaneseItaly
  3. 3.Unit of Interventional OncologyGeneral Hospital of Busto ArsizioBusto ArsizioItaly
  4. 4.Unit of Interventional RadiologyIRCCS Istituto Clinico HumanitasRozzanoItaly
  5. 5.Department of Nuclear MedicineGeneral Hospital of Busto ArsizioBusto ArsizioItaly
  6. 6.Department of Diagnostic ImagingRegina Apostolorum HospitalAlbanoItaly
  7. 7.Image-guided Therapy and Interventional Oncology UnitHadassah Hebrew University Medical CenterJerusalemIsrael
  8. 8.Humanitas Research HospitalHumanitas UniversityMilanItaly

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