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Ann Surg Oncol. 2014 Jun;21(6):1884-90. doi: 10.1245/s10434-014-3507-y. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Risk factors for recurrence after therapeutic lateral neck dissection for primary papillary thyroid cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Seoul National University Hospital & College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Lateral lymph node metastasis is an important prognostic factor and is predictive of tumor recurrence and cause-specific survival in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). However, the factors predicting recurrence and clinical outcomes after therapeutic lateral neck dissection are not well established. The aims of this study were to evaluate the incidence, pattern, and factors predictive of PTC recurrence after therapeutic lateral neck dissection.


The records of 126 consecutive patients who underwent total thyroidectomy with therapeutic lateral neck dissection for primary PTC at the National Cancer Center were retrospectively reviewed. The factors predictive of recurrence were determined using both univariate and multivariate analyses considering several clinicopathologic variables.


The median follow-up period was 61.2 months, during which 22 patients (17.5 %) experienced recurrence with 1 death (0.8 %) due to disease. Locoregional recurrence and distant metastasis were found in 20 cases (15.9 %) and 2 cases (1.6 %), respectively. Male gender, aggressive histology, number of lymph node metastases, initial level of T4-off Tg per ng/mL, and ATA risk categories (high risk) were independent risk factors for recurrence. Of note, initial T4-off Tg levels greater than 4.2 ng/mL showed highest sensitivity and specificity in predicting recurrence.


These results provide useful information regarding the clinical outcomes after therapeutic lateral neck dissection for primary PTC and can be used to identify at-risk patients who need aggressive treatment and intensive surveillance for postoperative recurrence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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