Bilateral papillary thyroid cancer in children: Risk factors and frequency of postoperative diagnosis.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2020 Feb 27

ISSN Number



<p><strong>BACKGROUND: </strong>The recommendation for children with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is total thyroidectomy (TT) based on the incidence of bilateral disease. Evaluating this assumption, we reviewed the characteristics of bilateral PTC in a large cohort of children.</p>

<p><strong>METHODS: </strong>A retrospective chart review for patients surgically treated for PTC from 2009 to 2018 analyzing preoperative risk factors, ultrasound findings, and pathology results was performed. Bilateral disease was defined as pathologic PTC in the contralateral lobe, including microscopic disease.</p>

<p><strong>RESULTS: </strong>Of the 172 patients included, 38.4% had bilateral disease with 23% diagnosed postoperatively. Multifocal disease on ultrasound was associated with bilateral disease (OR 2.9, 95% CI 1.5-5.9, p = 0.002). Nodule dimension &gt;2 cm was associated with increased risk for postoperative bilateral disease (OR 3.5, 95% CI 1.6-7.4, p = 0.001). Patients with bilateral disease were more likely to have extrathyroidal extension, lymphovascular invasion, positive central lymph nodes, and extranodal extension (p &lt; 0.001 for all). Diffuse-sclerosing variant PTC was also associated with bilateral disease.</p>

<p><strong>CONCLUSION: </strong>Thirty-eight percent of children were diagnosed with PTC demonstrate bilateral disease. Nearly one in four have occult bilateral disease. The features that predicted bilateral disease were multifocality, widely invasive PTC on ultrasound, and the presence of lymphadenopathy. Thus, TT is the appropriate surgical approach for pediatric patients with PTC.</p>

<p><strong>TYPE OF STUDY: </strong>Clinical Research, Retrospective Review.</p>

<p><strong>LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: </strong>Level IV.</p>



Alternate Title

J. Pediatr. Surg.




Subscription is not available for this page.