Surgical Management of Aerodigestive Tract Invasion in Thyroid Cancer

  • Henning Dralle
  • Andreas Machens
  • Michael Brauckhoff


Locally advanced thyroid cancer, originating from the central neck in close proximity to the tracheal and esophageal walls, has a natural tendency to invade the aerodigestive tract. To reflect the fact that tracheal and esophageal involvement has prognostic ramifications, a separate UICC/AJCC tumor category has been devised, placing thyroid cancers with aerodigestive tract involvement in an intermediate position (T4a) above cancers with extrathyroidal spread limited to the thyroid capsule (T3b) and below cancers invading the prevertebral space posteriorly, the mediastinum inferiorly, or the carotid artery laterally (T4b). Because extrathyroidal invasion is associated with both locoregional tumor recurrence and distant metastases, it accounts for approximately one-third of thyroid cancer-specific mortality.


Thyroid Cancer Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Aerodigestive Tract Medullary Thyroid Cancer Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Palsy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henning Dralle
    • 1
  • Andreas Machens
    • 1
  • Michael Brauckhoff
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of General, Visceral and Vascular SurgeryMedical Faculty, University of Halle-WittenbergHalle/SaaleGermany
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryHaukeland University HospitalBergenNorway

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