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Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E1705-12. doi: 10.1002/hed.24305. Epub 2015 Nov 28.

Influence of thyroid gland status on the thyroglobulin cutoff level in washout fluid from cervical lymph nodes of patients with recurrent/metastatic papillary thyroid cancer.

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Department of Surgery, Samsung Changwon Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Changwon, Korea.
Division of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



The influence of serum thyroglobulin (Tg) and thyroidectomy status on Tg in fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) washout fluid is unclear.


A total of 282 lymph nodes were prospectively subjected to FNAC, fine-needle aspiration (FNA)-Tg measurement, and frozen and permanent biopsies. We evaluated the diagnostic performance of several predetermined FNA-Tg cutoff values for recurrence/metastasis in lymph nodes according to thyroidectomy status.


The diagnostic performance of FNA-Tg varied according to thyroidectomy status. The optimized cutoff value of FNA-Tg was 2.2 ng/mL. However, among FNAC-negative lymph nodes, the FNA-Tg cutoff value of 0.9 ng/mL showed better diagnostic performance in patients with a thyroid gland. An FNA-Tg/serum-Tg cutoff ratio of 1 showed the best diagnostic performance in patients without a thyroid gland.


Applying the optimal cutoff values of FNA-Tg according to thyroid gland status and serum Tg level facilitates the diagnostic evaluation of neck lymph node recurrences/metastases in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E1705-E1712, 2016.


cutoff value; fine-needle aspiration; serum thyroglobulin; thyroidectomy; washout thyroglobulin

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