[Follow-up of high-risk patients with differentiated thyroid cancer without persistent disease after initial therapy]

Pedro Weslley S do Rosário, Michelle A Ribeiro Borges, Maria Flávia Gatti Alves, Saulo Purisch, Eduardo Lanza Padrão, Leonardo Lamego Rezende, Alvaro Luís Barroso
Arquivos Brasileiros de Endocrinologia e Metabologia 2006, 50 (5): 909-13
This study evaluated the follow-up of high-risk patients with thyroid cancer after initial therapy. A total of 125 high-risk patients (tumor >4 cm and/or extrathyroid invasion and/or lymph node metastases, and age >45 years), with complete resection of the tumor, were selected. All patients underwent total thyroidectomy and ablation with (131)I[3.7-5.5 GBq (100-150 mCi)]. Eighteen patients (14.8%) presenting metastases on post-dose whole-body scan (RxWBS) were excluded. The negative predictive value of stimulated Tg < or =1 ng/ml in combination with neck US during first assessment (612 mo. after ablative therapy) was 96.2% for the absence of recurrence up to 5 years. This value increased to 98.7% when adding WBS performed with 185 MBq (5 mCi) (131)I (DxWBS). The positive predictive value (PPV) of stimulated Tg >1 ng/ml was 52% for the detection of the presence of metastases up to 5 years; however, considering only patients with initially negative DxWBS and US, the PPV was 19% (9% if Tg of 110 ng/ml vs. 40% if Tg >10 ng/ml). Tg levels decreased spontaneously in patients with stimulated Tg >1 ng/ml during first assessment, negative US and DxWBS, and no recurrence during follow-up, with Tg being undetectable in half these patients at the end of 5 years. Twenty patients presented uptake in the thyroid bed upon DxWBS during the first year after ablative therapy, with stimulated Tg and US being negative, and were not treated with 131I; these patients did not relapse and no uptake on DxWBS was observed in 60% after 5 years. Recurrence after 5 years was only 1.3% in patients without apparent disease (negative US and DxWBS) and stimulated Tg <1 ng/ml. An algorithm for the follow-up of high-risk patients after initial therapy is presented in this study.

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