OBJECTIVE: The extent of initial surgical management in papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is controversial. We examined whether the presence of perioperative antithyroglobulin antibodies (TGA) could predict long-term recurrence and occurrence of adverse features among a homogenous group of patients with PTC.
METHODS: The clinical features of patients with PTC treated at a single institution (Jewish General Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada) were obtained from the medical records, and all clinicopathologic information was reviewed. Only low-risk PTC without clinical evidence of nodal disease before surgery and treated with 30 mCi of radioactive iodine was included in the study.
RESULTS: The chart review retrieved 361 patients with a median follow-up of 85.0 months (Q25-Q75 73-98). Forty-two (11.6%) patients had presence of perioperative TGA. Perioperative TGAs were associated with present extrathyroidal extension (P=.005), unsuspected nodal disease (P=.001) and autoimmune thyroiditis (P<.0001). Overall, 17 (4.7%) patients experienced locoregional recurrence. Perioperative TGAs were a significant predictor of recurrence in univariable (P=.021) but not in multivariable analysis (P=.13).
CONCLUSION: Presence of perioperative TGAs is associated with aggressive histological features and the presence of thyroiditis. Detection of TGA perioperatively may encourage surgeons to consider more extensive initial surgery.