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Eur J Surg Oncol. 2006 Dec;32(10):1144-8. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC): prognostic factors, management and outcome in 403 patients.

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  • 1Department of Special Surgery, University of Padova Medical School, Via Giustiniani 2, 35100 Padova, Italy.



To investigate an "optimal" therapeutic management of patients with papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC).


We evaluated a group of 403 consecutive patients affected by PTMC operated on by the same surgeon. Prognostic factors were evaluated by uni- and multivariate statistical analysis.


After a mean follow-up of 8.5 years, 372 patients were living without disease (undetectable serum thyroglobulin levels), 24 patients were living with disease (increased serum thyroglobulin levels), 6 patients were deceased due to causes different from thyroid cancer, and 1 patient was deceased due to metastatic thyroid cancer. No statistically significant prognostic factor was found at uni- and multivariate analysis. However, it is worth noting that in patients with a larger primary tumour (size> or =5mm) and treated by partial thyroidectomy alone, the prevalence of recurrent disease was higher than in patients treated by total thyroidectomy and (131)I administration.


It appears reasonable to perform total thyroidectomy (possibly associated with central compartment node dissection), (131)I whole body scan (followed by (131)I therapy when necessary) and TSH-suppressive hormonal therapy in patients with PTMC.

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