Risk factors for recurrence in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma undergoing modified radical neck dissection

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This study evaluated the impact of lymph node-related factors on the risk of and site of recurrence in patients who had papillary thyroid carcinoma with lymph node metastasis in the lateral compartment (classified as pN1b).


Patients underwent total thyroidectomy with unilateral modified radical neck dissection for classical papillary thyroid carcinoma. Risk factors for recurrence were evaluated according to the pattern of recurrence.


A total of 324 patients were included in the study. The median follow-up was 63 (range 14–181) months. Recurrence was detected in 47 patients (14·5 per cent). In the multivariable analysis, a maximum diameter of metastatic lymph nodes larger than 2·0 cm (hazard ratio (HR) 1·15, 95 per cent c.i. 1·06 to 1·25;P= 0·033) and a central compartment metastatic lymph node ratio of more than 0·42 (HR 3·35, 1·65 to 6·79;P< 0·001) were identified as independent risk factors for locoregional recurrence. Age 45 years or older (HR 5·69, 1·24 to 26·12;P= 0·025) and extranodal extension of metastasis (HR 12·71, 1·64 to 98·25;P= 0·015) were risk factors for distant metastasis. In subgroup analysis of locoregional recurrence, several lymph node-related factors affected the risk of recurrence according to the specific site of metastasis.


Lymph node-related factors are of importance for the risk of recurrence in patients with classical papillary thyroid carcinoma classified as pN1b.

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