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Thyroid Lobectomy for T1 Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma in Pediatric Patients.

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2021 Sep 23

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<p><strong>Importance: </strong>The current recommendation for pediatric patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is a total thyroidectomy. This recommendation applies to all stages of PTC, including papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (≤1 cm, T1a) tumors.</p>

<p><strong>Objective: </strong>To evaluate the characteristics of American Joint Committee on Cancer T1 PTC tumors in a large pediatric population and to identify a subgroup of patients who may benefit from a thyroid lobectomy instead of a total thyroidectomy.</p>

<p><strong>Design, Setting, and Participants: </strong>This retrospective cohort study was conducted from January 1, 2009, to May 31, 2020. The study took place at a tertiary care medical center and included 102 patients who were surgically treated for T1 PTC: 52 with stage T1a (≤1 cm) tumors and 50 with stage T1b (&gt;1 cm but ≤2 cm) tumors.</p>

<p><strong>Main Outcomes and Measures: </strong>Primary outcomes included the presence of bilateral disease and lymph node metastasis.</p>

<p><strong>Results: </strong>A total of 102 patients (mean age, 15.3 years [range, 9.7-18.9 years]; 84 girls [82.4%]) were included in the analysis. Among 52 patients with T1a tumors, 10 (19.2%) had bilateral disease, and 15 (28.8%) had central neck lymph node (N1a) metastasis. Among 50 patients with T1b tumors, 10 (20%) had bilateral and 13 (26%) had N1a disease. Of those with T1a, unilateral multifocality was associated with bilateral disease (odds ratio [OR], 2.1; 95% CI, 1.3-3.4) and N1a disease (OR, 5.1; 95% CI, 1.5-17.6). Both N1a disease (OR, 20.0; 95% CI, 3.5-115.0) and ≥4 positive lymph nodes (OR, 8.6; 95% CI, 1.2-60.9) were associated with bilateral disease. In patients with no pathologic evidence of lymph node metastasis (N0), there was a 95% rate of unilateral PTC. In patients with T1b tumors, unilateral multifocality was also associated with bilateral disease (OR, 1.8; 95% CI, 1.3-2.7). Patients with T1b tumors had an increased risk of lateral (N1b) neck lymph node metastasis when compared with those with T1a tumors (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.0-14.5).</p>

<p><strong>Conclusions and Relevance: </strong>The findings of this cohort study suggest that, in patients with unifocal T1a PTC without clinically evident nodal disease on preoperative ultrasonography, a thyroid lobectomy and central neck dissection may be considered. If there is no evidence of unilateral multifocality or if there are fewer than 4 positive lymph nodes on postoperative pathology, then close observation may be considered. These findings have substantial clinical implications and may result in practice changes regarding the extent of thyroid surgery on low-stage pediatric PTC.</p>



Alternate Title

JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg




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