Clinical Thyroidology for the Public summarizes selected research studies discussed in the previous month’s issue of Clinical Thyroidology, an official publication of the American Thyroid Association. Editor-in-chief, Alan Farwell, MD, FACE

Volume 11 Issue 10

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

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Clinical Thyroidology for the Public Volume 11 Issue 10 (PDF file, 6.14 MB)


Editor’s Comments

THYROID FUNCTION IN PREGNANCY Association of thyroid function in mothers during early pregnancy with the risk of autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder in children
Thyroid dysfunction in mothers during pregnancy can have adverse effect on the baby’s brain development. Recently, there has been interest in looking at the effects of abnormal thyroid hormone levels in mothers on other outcomes of babies’ brain development, such as ADHD and autism. This study aimed to investigate potential associations between thyroid abnormalities in mothers during pregnancy and diagnoses of ADHD and autism.
Andersen SL et al 2018 Maternal thyroid function in early pregnancy and child neurodevelopmental disorders: a Danish nationwide case-cohort study. Thyroid 28:537–546. Epub 2018 Mar 27. PMID: 29584590.
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THYROID NODULES Can the rate of thyroid nodules that are nondiagnostic after a biopsy be reduced?
Non-diagnostic thyroid biopsies can occur in up to 10% of biopsies and usually require a repeat biopsy. There are two separate techniques of doing the thyroid biopsies: the aspiration technique and the capillary action technique. This study reviewed 24 published studies to compare the rate of non-diagnostic biopsy between these 2 techniques.
Moss WJ et al 2018 Needle biopsy of routine thyroid nodules should be performed using a capillary action technique with 24- to 27-gauge needles: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Thyroid 28:857–863. Epub 2018 Jun 5. PMID: 29742978.
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THYROID CANCER Small bright spots with comet-tails noted on ultrasound may be indicative of cancer when occurring in the solid portion of a thyroid nodule
Several thyroid nodule features noted on ultrasound are suggestive of thyroid cancer. While small bright spots known as microcalcifications usually indicate a cancer, small bright spots with a comet tail are usually associated with a benign thyroid nodule. The goal of this study was to evaluate the frequency and types of small bright spots present in cancerous and non-cancerous thyroid nodules.
Wu H et al 2018 Echogenic foci with comet-tail artifact in resected thyroid nodules: not an absolute predictor of benign disease. PLoS One 13:e0191505. PMID: 29352286.
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THYROID NODULES The American Thyroid Association ultrasound classification system can help determine the risk of cancer in indeterminate thyroid nodules
The ATA guidelines for management of thyroid nodule offers a system for classifying thyroid nodules as to concern for thyroid cancer depending on the findings of ultrasound. The current study evaluated the ability of the ATA guidelines classification system to predict cancer in nodules with indeterminate biopsies.
Valderrabano P et al Thyroid Nodules with Indeterminate Cytology: Utility of the American Thyroid Association Sonographic Patterns for Cancer Risk Stratification.Thyroid (2018) 28: 1004-1012 (PMID: 29848195)
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THYROID NODULES How accurate is an updated molecular test in diagnosing cancer in indeterminate thyroid biopsies?
Indeterminate biopsy results can occur in 15–20% of biopsies. There has been great interest in developing molecular tests to determine whether nodules with indeterminate biopsy are cancerous or not. In this study, the authors report on the diagnostic accuracy of an updated molecular test in diagnosing cancer in indeterminate thyroid biopsies.
Patel KN et al 2018 Performance of a genomic sequencing classifier for the preoperative diagnosis of cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules. JAMA Surg. Epub 2018 May 23.
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THYROID CANCER Extent of initial surgery may not significantly change survival in patients with localized medullary thyroid cancer
The recommended initial operation for patients with medullary thyroid cancer includes thyroidectomy and removal of the lymph nodes in the central neck. Current guidelines differ on how best to approach a patient with less than the recommended initial operation. The goal of this study was to evaluate the survival of patients with medullary thyroid cancer with localized cancer based on the extent of the initial operation.
Randle RW et al 2018 Survival in patients with medullary thyroid cancer after less than the recommended initial operation. J Surg Oncol 117:1211–1216. Epub 2017 Dec 19. PMID: 29266278.
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