April 1971

Childhood Thyroid Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

Ann Arbor, Mich
From the Section of General Surgery (Drs. Harness and Thompson) and Department of Pathology (Dr. Nishiyama), University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Arch Surg. 1971;102(4):278-284. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350040040008

Twenty-nine (50%) of 58 children with thyroid carcinoma received previous ionizing radiation to the head and neck. The average interval to diagnosis was 9.6 years. Fifty-six carcinomas were either papillary, follicular, or mixed differentiated tumors. Two carcinomas were medullary with amyloid struma. There were no undifferentiated carcinomas. Cervical lymphatic metastases were present in 88%. Local infiltration of tumor occurred in 31% and pulmonary metastases in 19%. Fifty-one patients (88%) have undergone total thyroidectomy. Forty-eight patients underwent lymph node excisions ranging from lymph node plucking to bilateral modified and radical neck dissections. Sodium iodide I 131 was administered in therapeutic doses to 49 of the 58 patients in our series. The thyroid carcinoma mortality was 5.2%. There were no deaths in those patients who underwent total thyroidectomy and appropriate regional lymph node dissection, and received therapeutic sodium iodide I 131 when indicated on the basis of follow-up scans.