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Journal Articles European Thyroid Journal Year : 2021

Long-Term Outcome of Lobectomy for Thyroid Cancer


INTRODUCTION: Recent guidelines of the American Thyroid Association (ATA) suggest that a lobectomy may be sufficient to treat low- to intermediate-risk patients with thyroid tumors ≤40 mm, without extrathyroidal extension or lymph node metastases. The present study aimed to evaluate long-term recurrence after lobectomy for differentiated thyroid cancer and to analyze factors associated with recurrence. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study, patients who underwent a lobectomy for thyroid cancer in a tertiary center between 1970 and 2010 were included. The outcome was the proportion of pathology-confirmed thyroid cancer recurrence, assessed in the whole cohort or in subgroups according to tumor size (≤ or \textgreater40 mm). RESULTS: A total of 295 patients were included, and these were followed-up for a mean (standard deviation, SD) 19.1 (7.8) years (5,649 patient-years); 61 (20.7%) were male and the mean (SD) age at diagnosis was 39.7 (12) years. Histological subtype was papillary in 263 (89.2%) patients and mean cancer size was 22.9 (16.9) mm. According to the 2015 ATA guidelines, 271 (91.9%) cancers had a low risk of recurrence and 24 (8.1%) an intermediate risk. A reoperation was performed in 54 patients (18.3%) and recurrence was confirmed in 40 (13.6%), diagnosed for 55% of cases more than 10 years after their initial surgery. Among recurrent patients, 14 (4.8% of the cohort) were operated for a contralateral papillary thyroid microcarcinoma and 26 (8.8% of the cohort) for a locoregional or metastatic recurrence. Non-suspicious nodular recurrences were monitored without reoperation in 53 (18.0%) patients. At the end of follow-up, 282 (95.6%) patients were in remission. Tumors with locoregional or metastatic recurrence were more frequent among tumors with aggressive histology (19.2 vs. 4.1%, p = 0.015) and of intermediate risk category (28.6 vs. 7.1%, p = 0.018). Tumors \textgreater40 mm, which would have been treated by thyroidectomy according to the 2015 ATA guidelines criteria, were found in 34 (11.5%) patients and were associated with a higher frequency of recurrence (20.6 vs. 7.3%, p = 0.024) and less remission (85.3 vs. 96.9%, p = 0.001). CONCLUSION: The outcome of thyroid cancer treated by lobectomy is very good, particularly for cancer ≤40 mm. A prolonged follow-up is required due to the risk of late recurrence.

Dates and versions

inserm-03587190 , version 1 (24-02-2022)



Matthieu Bosset, Maxime Bonjour, Solène Castellnou, Zakia Hafdi-Nejjari, Claire Bournaud-Salinas, et al.. Long-Term Outcome of Lobectomy for Thyroid Cancer. European Thyroid Journal , 2021, 10 (6), pp.486--494. ⟨10.1159/000510620⟩. ⟨inserm-03587190⟩
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