Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
World J Surg. 1998 Jun;22(6):562-7; discussion 567-8.

Determinative factors of biochemical cure after primary and reoperative surgery for sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma.

Author information

  • 1Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Department of General Surgery, Halle/Saale, Germany.


Normalization of calcitonin levels after surgery has been regarded as the most powerful prognostic factor for medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC). Although the prognosis of patients with persistent hypercalcitoninemia may be acceptable, the biochemical cure rate can be improved by new microdissection techniques. This raises certain questions: Can extension of locoregional lymphadenectomy (LA) further improve biochemical cure and survival after primary or reoperative MTC surgery? Which factors concerning TNM categories are associated with the possibility of postoperative normalization of calcitonin levels? This study included 64 patients with sporadic MTC operated on from 1986 to 1997. Altogether 27 patients underwent primary surgery, and 37 patients were reoperated, performing a microdissection of all four locoregional compartments (four-compartment lymphadenectomy, or 4CLA). For primary MTC the biochemical cure rate was 100% in node-negative patients and 33% in node-positive patients; the latter could be improved to 45% after 4CLA. In contrast to reoperative MTC, the rate of lymph node metastases (LNMs) with primary MTC correlated with the pT category (pT1 33%, pT2 53%, pT3 100%, pT4 100%) but not with age or sex. Again in contrast to reoperative MTC, mediastinal LNMs in primary MTC were present only in patients with a pT4 tumor. At reoperation, 4CLA was able to cure 22% of node-positive patients, 28% without proved distant metastases. No patient with extrathyroidal tumor involvement or distant metastases was biochemically cured after either primary or reoperative surgery. For all node-positive MTC patients, in addition to cervicocentral LA at least a bilateral cervicolateral LA is recommended. Transsternal mediastinal lymph node dissection is indicated in patients with LNMs in the cervicomediastinal transition, facilitating biochemical cure in up to 45% after the first operation and 22% after reoperative surgery of sporadic MTC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center