The survival rate of patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is significantly better in patients diagnosed and treated when the tumor is limited to the thyroid. In a pioneer study carried out in 1991, we demonstrated that routine measurement of serum calcitonin (CT) in nodular thyroid disease allowed the preoperative diagnosis of unsuspected sporadic MTC with better accuracy than routine fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). This finding has been confirmed in subsequent studies. In the present study we report the results of CT screening in 10,864 patients with thyroid nodular disease seen in the years 1991-1998 (group 1). We analyzed the prevalence of MTC and compared their outcomes with those of a historical group of patients (group 2) diagnosed before the introduction of CT screening (1970-1990). The prevalence of MTC found by CT screening in group 1 was 0.40% (44 patients). A positive CT test had a higher diagnostic sensitivity and specificity compared with FNAC. CT screening allowed the diagnosis of MTC at an earlier stage compared with group 2 (P = 0.004). Normalization of serum CT levels (undetectable) after surgery was more frequently observed in group 1. At the end of follow-up, complete remission was observed in 59% of group 1 and in 2.7% of group 2 (P = 0.0001). Our study confirms that MTC is not an infrequent finding among patients with thyroid nodules (nearly 1 in 250 patients). In addition, screening thyroid nodules with serum CT measurement allows the diagnosis and treatment of MTC at an earlier stage, resulting in a better outcome compared with MTC not detected by serum CT measurement. One of the reasons for this finding is that increasing the preoperative diagnostic accuracy of MTC prompts the surgeon to perform a more radical and possibly curative treatment. On this basis, routine measurement of basal serum CT levels should be considered an integral part of the diagnostic evaluation of thyroid nodules.
|Autori:||ELISEI R; BOTTICI V; LUCHETTI F; DI COSCIO G; ROMEI C; GRASSO L; MICCOLI P; IACCONI P; BASOLO F; PINCHERA A; PACINI F|
|Titolo:||Impact of routine measurement of serum calcitonin on the diagnosis and outcome of medullary thyroid cancer: experience in 10,864 patients with nodular thyroid disorders|
|Anno del prodotto:||2004|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1210/jc.2003-030550|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|