Long-term outcome of comprehensive central compartment dissection in patients with recurrent/persistent papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Persistent or recurrent papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) occurs in some patients after initial thyroid surgery and often, radioactive iodine treatment. Here, we identify the efficacy, safety, and long-term outcome of our current surgical management paradigm for persistent/recurrent PTC in the central compartment in an interdisciplinary thyroid cancer clinical and research program at a tertiary thyroid cancer referral center. METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed our standardized approach of comprehensive bilateral level VI/VII lymph node dissection (SND [VI, VII]) for cytologically confirmed PTC in the central compartment. RESULTS: From 1994 to 2004, 210 patients, median age 42 (range 12-82) underwent SND (VI, VII). Most patients (106, 51%) had already undergone ≥2 surgical procedures for persistent or recurrent disease, and 31 (15%) had distant metastases at presentation. Postoperatively, 104 (71%) of the 146 patients who were thyroglobulin (Tg) positive had no evidence of disease. Anti-Tg antibodies were present in 38 patients (18%), 17 of whom (53%) did not have anti-Tg antibodies postoperatively. Fourteen patients (7%) were hypoparathyroid at presentation, and 2 more (1%) became permanently hypoparathyroid after surgery. Four patients (2%) experienced recurrent laryngeal nerve paralysis (RLNP) of a previously functioning nerve. Unanticipated RLNP was observed in only one nerve at risk. External beam radiation was given to 33 patients (17%). An additional 17 patients (8%) developed distant metastases during follow-up. At the last follow-up, 130 (66%) of the 196 patients had no detectable Tg; of these, 99 (76%) had no further evidence of disease. A median of 7.25 years after surgery, 167 (90%) of the 185 patients were without evidence of central disease, and 18 (10%) had developed central compartment recurrences within a median interval of 24.3 months. Of those with recurrence, 16 out of 18 patients (89%) underwent a subsequent surgical procedure, thus resulting in an overall 98% central compartment control rate. Kaplan-Meier disease-specific survival at 10 years was 98.9% for patients <45 years old and 77.9% for those ≥45 years old (log-rank p<0.00001). The only predictor of central compartment recurrence was malignancy in a thyroid remnant noted within the central compartment surgical specimen. CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral comprehensive level VI/VII dissections are safe and effective for long-term control of recurrent/persistent PTC in the central lymphatic compartment.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Thyroid  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Autoantibodies, Biomarkers, Tumor, Carcinoma, Carcinoma, Papillary, Chi-Square Distribution, Child, Disease-Free Survival, Female, Humans, Hypoparathyroidism, Kaplan-Meier Estimate, Lymph Node Excision, Male, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local, Proportional Hazards Models, Retrospective Studies, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Texas, Thyroglobulin, Thyroid Cancer, Papillary, Thyroid Neoplasms, Thyroidectomy, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, Vocal Cord Paralysis, Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Clayman GL; Agarwal G; Edeiken BS; Waguespack SG; Roberts DB; Sherman SI
  • Start Page

  • 1309
  • End Page

  • 1316
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 12