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Il Giornale di Chirurgia

Incidental thyroid carcinomas. A retrospective study

Original Article, 94 - 101
doi: 10.11138/gchir/2017.38.2.094
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Abstract
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Aim. The aim of the present study is to report our series of incidental thyroid carcinomas in the last 15 years and their follow-up, discussing therapeutics indications and surgical choices.
Patients and methods. We have considered 1793 patients operated on Surgical Sciences Department of "Sapienza" University of Rome from January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2015. The study was conducted on 83 totally thyroidectomized patients with a real incidental thyroid carcinoma, by clinical, laboratory and instrumental controls. Whole-body scan was the most important test in postoperative evaluation.
Results. In our series, the incidence of incidental carcinomas was 4.62%. Compared to the total number of cancer patients, the percentage is 21,9%. In 15.66% of cases there was multifocality and in 7.23% also bilaterality. Regarding the histological type, in all cases they were papillary carcinoma. The size of the neoplastic lesions ranged from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 10 mm. Whole-body scan revealed lymph node metastasis in 57.69% of patients.
Discussion. Comparing these data with our previous studies we have seen a significant increase in incidence of incidental thyroid carcinomas over the years. Our therapeutical choice is total thyroidectomy and complection thyroidectomy after lobectomy, because of a relevant percentage of multifocality and/or bilaterality of these tumors. Many
Authors on the contrary prefer a more conservative approach invoking the good prognosis of these tumors. The 57.69% of lymph node metastasis at postoperative whole-body scan comfort us in our setting.
Conclusion. Incidental thyroid carcinomas are not uncommon.
We consider only tumors until 1 cm in diameter. Multifocality and bilaterality are often present such as occult lymph node metastasis. Our therapeutical choice is total thyroidectomy in order to conduct a proper follow-up.

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