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Endocr Pathol. 2013 Sep;24(3):125-31. doi: 10.1007/s12022-013-9248-9.

Undifferentiated (anaplastic) thyroid carcinoma and iodine intake in Salta, Argentina.

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Pathology Unit, Dr. A. Oñativia Hospital, Salta, Argentina.


This study was conducted to investigate the natural history of undifferentiated thyroid carcinoma (UTC) in the iodine-deficient province of Salta, Argentina, in relation to salt iodization and health care standards. Five hundred ninety-three thyroid cancers diagnosed from 1958 to2012 were reviewed based mainly on the WHO classification and grouped into three periods, one before and two after iodine prophylaxis. The incidence of UTC was analyzed in relation to changing concentrations of potassium iodide (KI) in salt during the prophylaxis period (from 40 to 33.3 mg KI/kg salt), establishment of primary health care centers throughout the region, and use of fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology. Twenty-nine UTCs were found in the whole series. The frequency of UTC decreased from 15.2 % (9/59 cases) in the first period to 2.6 % (10/381 cases) well after salt iodination (x (2) Fisher's test, p < 0.0002), and the incidence from 1.4/10(6)/year to 0.1/10(6)/year (Student's t test, p < 0.06), respectively. The decline of UTC after iodine prophylaxis occurred even after decreasing concentrations of KI in salt and timely coincided with the establishment of primary health care centers throughout the region and routine use of FNA. The lower rate of UTC after iodine prophylaxis in the province of Salta is mostly related to earlier detection of more differentiated thyroid tumors rather than higher salt iodization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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