Clinicopathologic Factors and Thyroid Nodule Sonographic Features for Predicting Central Lymph Node Metastasis in Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma: A Retrospective Study of 1204 Patients

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Abstract

Objectives—

Preoperative prediction of lymph node metastasis is of clinical importance for the surgical treatment of thyroid tumor. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinicopathologic factors and thyroid nodule sonographic features predictive of central lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma.

Methods—

Clinicopathologic factors and thyroid nodule sonographic features of 1204 patients with papillary thyroid microcarcinoma were retrospectively reviewed from January 2014 to June 2015. Central lymph node dissection was performed on each patient. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to analyze the clinicopathologic factors and thyroid nodule sonographic features associated with central lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to assess the relevance of all potential predictive factors.

Results—

Central lymph node metastasis was detected in 395 of the 1204 patients (32.81%). By univariate and multivariate analyses, younger age (≤43 years), male sex, larger tumor size (≥7 mm), multifocal papillary thyroid microcarcinoma and microcalcification were independently associated with central lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (P < .05). The ORs were 1.920 (95% CI, 1.476–2.499), 1.665 (95% CI, 1.234–2.247), 1.534 (95% CI, 1.177–2.000), 2.120 (95% CI, 1.563–2.877), and 4.109 (95% CI, 3.118–5.414), respectively.

Conclusions—

Central lymph node metastasis is highly prevalent in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma. Younger age (≤43 years), male sex, larger tumor size (≥7 mm), multifocal papillary thyroid microcarcinoma, and microcalcification were independent predictors of central lymph node metastasis. Surgeons and radiologists need to pay more attention to patients with papillary thyroid microcarcinoma who have these risk predictors.

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