European Radiology

, Volume 27, Issue 7, pp 2934–2940 | Cite as

Ultrasound-guided percutaneous laser ablation of unifocal T1N0M0 papillary thyroid microcarcinoma: Preliminary results

  • Wei Zhou
  • Shan Jiang
  • Weiwei ZhanEmail author
  • Jianqiao Zhou
  • Shangyan Xu
  • Lu Zhang



To evaluate the efficacy and safety of percutaneous laser ablation (PLA) for unifocal T1N0M0 papillary thyroid microcarcinoma(PTMC).


A retrospective study was conducted in 30 patients with single PTMC which was diagnosed by fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB). PLA was performed for proper time to achieve adequate ablation zones. The extent of ablation was assessed by contrast-enhanced ultrasound (CEUS) immediately and 7 days after PLA. Complications were recorded. The size and volume of the ablation area and thyroid hormones were measured, and clinical evaluations were performed at 1, 3, 6 and12 months, and every half year thereafter.


The procedure was well tolerated without serious complications. Of the 30 patients, 29 were treated successfully under local anaesthesia in a single session. Only one incomplete ablation was detected by immediate CEUS after PLA, and a second ablation was performed. At the last follow-up, ten (33.3 %) ablation zones had disappeared, and 20 (66.67 %) ablation zones remained as scar-like lesions. No regrowth of treated tumours, local recurrence or distant metastases were detected.


During the short-term follow-up period, ultrasound-guided PLA appears to be effective and safe for treating solitary T1N0M0 PTMC in selected patients who are ineligible for surgery.

Key Points

Ultrasound is a useful tool in percutaneous laser ablation (PLA).

PLA is safe for treating papillary thyroid microcarcinoma.

PLA is effective for single papillary thyroid microcarcinoma.


Laser Thermal ablation Minimally invasive treatment Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma Ultrasound 



Contrast-enhanced ultrasound


Fine needle aspiration biopsy


Percutaneous laser ablation


Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma



The scientific guarantor of this publication is Zhan. The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article. This study has received funding by the national clinical key specialty construction projects of China and Science and Technology Commission Foundation of Shanghai. No complex statistical methods were necessary for this paper. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained. Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study. Our study subjects or cohorts have not been previously reported. Methodology: retrospective, diagnostic or prognostic study, performed at one institution.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Radiology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Zhou
    • 1
  • Shan Jiang
    • 1
  • Weiwei Zhan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jianqiao Zhou
    • 1
  • Shangyan Xu
    • 1
  • Lu Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ultrasound, Rui Jin Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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