|Authors||Greenblatt DY, Elson D, Mack E, Chen H|
|Journal||Asian J Surg Volume: 30 Issue: 2 Pages: 108-12|
|Publish Date||2007 Apr|
Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is the third most common type of thyroid cancer. MTC spreads early to local lymph nodes, and most endocrine surgeons recommend total thyroidectomy with central lymph node dissection (CLND) as the minimum initial operation. We reviewed our experience to determine if the initial operation influences clinical outcomes.Twenty-two patients with sporadic or inherited MTC who received surgery at one academic centre between 1994 and 2004 were identified. Clinical, operative, and pathology findings were reviewed.Ten patients had prophylactic thyroidectomy for hereditary MTC, while 12 patients underwent therapeutic operations for sporadic MTC. The average age of the prophylactic group was 11 +/- 3, and 43 +/- 6 years for the therapeutic group. All patients in the prophylactic group received thyroidectomy without neck dissection. No patient in the prophylactic group had residual disease or required re-operation. In the therapeutic surgery group, three patients were treated with thyroidectomy plus CLND, and nine patients received thyroidectomy alone. The CLND group had a significantly higher cure rate as demonstrated by a lower incidence of residual disease (0% vs. 89%, p = 0.018), and re-operations (0% vs. 78%, p = 0.045).Initial CLND for MTC increases cure rates by reducing residual disease and re-operations.