Central lymph node dissection and permanent hypoparathyroidism after total thyroidectomy for papillary thyroid cancer: population-based study
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Background: Papillary thyroid cancer is treated with total/near-total thyroidectomy (TT) with or without central lymph node dissection (CLND), depending on risk factors and tumour size. Balancing the risk of disease recurrence and surgical morbidity remains a challenge. A population-based nationwide study was undertaken to evaluate the risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism associated with CLND. Method: Data on patients with stage pT1–3 papillary thyroid cancer, who underwent TT with or without CLND between 1 July 2004 and 30 June 2014 were retrieved from the Scandinavian Quality Register for Thyroid, Parathyroid and Adrenal Surgery. Drug use was ascertained by cross-linking with the Swedish Prescribed Drug Register. Permanent hypoparathyroidism was defined as treatment with active D vitamin or oral calcium drugs for more than 6 months after surgery. Data were analysed separately for all patients and those who underwent TT + CLND. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were done, yielding odds ratios (ORs) with 95 per cent confidence intervals. Results: A total of 722 patients were included in the study. Permanent hypoparathyroidism was more common in the TT + CLND group than the TT group: 30 of 265 patients (6·6 per cent) versus six of 457 (2·3 per cent) (P = 0·011). In multivariable logistic regression analysis, CLND was a risk factor for permanent hypoparathyroidism (OR 3·74, 95 per cent c.i. 1·46 to 9·59, based on use of combined therapy 6 months after surgery). In patients who had TT + CLND, node negativity was associated with a risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism (OR 3·08, 1·31 to 7·25). Conclusion: CLND is an independent risk factor for permanent hypoparathyroidism. Node negativity is associated with a higher risk of permanent hypoparathyroidism.