Background: Papillary thyroid carcinomas (PTC) with lymph node metastases have a high recurrence rate. We analyzed the potential of lymph node ratio (LNR) and the level of pre-ablation stimulated thyroglobulin (sTg) as risk factors predicting recurrence in patients with pathological N1a PTC. Materials and methods: This study involved 192 patients with pathologically confirmed PTC and central neck lymph node metastases who underwent total thyroidectomy with central lymph node dissection (CLND). The clinico-pathological characteristics, the pre-ablation sTg level and post-treatment recurrences were examined. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to identify factors associated with recurrence in these patients. Results: During a median follow-up of 63 months, 17 patients had loco-regional recurrences. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that the appropriate cut-off values for LNR and the pre-ablation sTg level was 0.48 and 9.3 ng/mL, respectively. Patients with LNR values of ≥0.48 had a significantly worse disease-free survival (DFS) than those with LNR values of <0.48 (P = 0.015), and patients with pre-ablation sTg level values of ≥9.3 ng/mL had significantly worse DFS than those with pre-ablation sTg level values <9.3 ng/mL (P < 0.001). Relative to patients with LNR values of <0.48, those with LNR values of ≥0.48 had higher median pre-ablation sTg level values (0.55 vs. 4.20; P < 0.001). The correlation covariant between the LNR value and the pre-ablation sTg level value was r = 0.454 (P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that a LNR value of ≥0.48 (P = 0.386) was not an independent risk factor for recurrence. To the contrary, a pre-ablation sTg level value of ≥9.3 ng/mL (P < 0.001) was an independent risk factor for recurrence. Conclusion: A high pre-ablation sTg level is a better predictor of recurrence in pathological N1a PTC than a high LNR value. Careful follow-up of patients with this risk factor is recommended.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2016, Japan Society of Clinical Oncology.
- Lymph node ratio
- Papillary thyroid carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas