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Appropriate Neck Ultrasonography Surveillance During the First 10 Years After Hemithyroidectomy in Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma Patients

A Single-Center Study

Choi, Yun Seok MD*; Kim, Dong Wook MD*; Lee, Yoo Jin MD*; Ha, Tae Kwun MD; Jung, Soo Jin MD; Baek, Hye Jin MD§

doi: 10.1097/RUQ.0000000000000429
Original Research

This study aimed to assess the prevalence of tumor recurrence/persistence and determine the appropriate frequency and interval of follow-up neck ultrasonography (US) in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC) patients who underwent hemithyroidectomy and long-term follow-up US. From January 2005 to December 2006, 179 patients underwent a hemithyroidectomy for the treatment of PTMC and at least 1 postoperative US surveillances. The postoperative follow-up US was performed by 2 radiologists for all patients. Based on the US and histopathologic results, tumor recurrence/persistence was determined. Of the 179 patients, the following results were determined after hemithyroidectomy: all patients exhibited T1 stage, while nodal metastasis to the ipsilateral level VI node (n = 27) and ipsilateral multifocality (n = 16) were found. Tumor recurrence was found in 5 (2.8%) of 179 and tumor persistence in 2 (1.1%) of 179. In the tumor recurrence cases, all patients underwent US-guided fine-needle aspiration for the newly detected thyroid nodule because of suspicious features on postoperative follow-up US (8-, 24-, 36-, 87-, and 96-month intervals). Differences were observed in the number of follow-up US sessions (mean, 5.2; range, 1–13) and in the interval period to the last follow-up (mean, 80.7 months; range, 8–138 months). Among the patients, 82 (45.8%) had a more than 120-month interval to the last follow-up US after hemithyroidectomy. In conclusion, the PTMC tumor recurrence rate was low, indicating that only 1 or 2 sessions of postoperative US follow-up may be sufficient to detect tumor recurrence within the first 10 years after hemithyroidectomy in PTMC patients.

Departments of *Radiology

General Surgery

Pathology, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan

§Department of Radiology, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine and Gyeongsang National University Changwon Hospital, Changwon, South Korea.

Received for publication October 11, 2018; accepted January 12, 2019.

Address correspondence to: Dong Wook Kim, MD, Department of Radiology, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, 75, Bokji-ro, Busanjin-gu, Busan, South Korea 47392 (e-mail:

Online date: February 20, 2019

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