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Thyroid nodules are frequently present in Graves' disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of thyroid carcinoma in Graves' disease patients, with and without ultrasonographically identified nodules, who subsequently underwent surgical treatment.
The study group included 150 consecutive patients with diagnosed Graves' disease who subsequently underwent surgery.
The patients were divided into two groups according to whether the pre-operative ultrasound scan showed diffuse parenchyma (group one; n = 70) or nodules (group two; n = 80).
Of the 150 patients, 18 (12 per cent) were found to have papillary thyroid carcinoma. Papillary carcinoma was found in seven patients (10 per cent) in group one and in 11 patients (1.7 per cent) in group two. After evaluating the overall groups, the incidence of carcinoma in the parenchyma outside a nodule was 67 per cent, whereas the incidence of carcinoma in a nodule was 33 per cent.
Carcinoma can occur in Graves' disease patients without nodules, and the absence of nodules on ultrasonographic examination does not reduce the risk of malignancy.
We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of ultrasonography, radioactive iodine uptake and serum thyroid-stimulating hormone level in predicting the volume of remnant thyroid gland.
Sixty-six thyroidectomy patients were divided into two groups according to their functional status, i.e. those operated upon for nontoxic multinodular goitre (group one) and those operated upon for hyperthyroidism (group two). Ultrasonography, radioactive iodine uptake and thyroid-stimulating hormone assay were performed in all patients during the first post-operative month. The two groups were subdivided according to the amount of remnant thyroid volume detected on ultrasonography: <2 ml, 2–5 ml and >5 ml.
The remnant thyroid volume was positively correlated with the radioactive iodine uptake (rs = 0.684, p = 0.0001). The increase in remnant thyroid tissue radioactive iodine uptake was significantly greater in the patients operated upon for hyperthyroidism compared with those operated upon for nontoxic multinodular goitre (p = 0.0001). There was a negative correlation between remnant thyroid volume and post-operative serum thyroid-stimulating hormone level (rs = −0.865, p = 0.0001) and between remnant thyroid tissue radioactive iodine uptake and post-operative serum thyroid-stimulating hormone level (rs = −0.682, p = 0.0001).
Ultrasonography is a more accurate measure of remnant thyroid volume than radioactive iodine uptake in patients operated upon for hyperthyroidism, compared with those operated upon for nontoxic multinodular goitre.
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