Thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer in Graves' disease

Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2014 Dec;58(9):933-8. doi: 10.1590/0004-2730000003569.


Objective: The frequency of thyroid nodules accompanying Graves' disease and the risk of thyroid cancer in presence of accompanying nodules are controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of thyroid nodules and the risk of thyroid cancer in patients operated because of graves' disease.

Subjects and methods: Five hundred and twenty-six patients in whom thyroidectomy was performed because of Graves' disease between 2006 and 2013 were evaluated retrospectively. Patients who had received radioactive iodine treatment and external irradiation treatment in the neck region and who had had thyroid surgery previously were not included in the study.

Results: While accompanying thyroid nodule was present in 177 (33.6%) of 526 Graves' patients, thyroid nodule was absent in 349 (66.4%) patients. Forty-two (8%) patients had thyroid cancer. The rate of thyroid cancer was 5.4% (n = 19) in the Graves' patients who had no nodule, whereas it was 13% (n = 23) in the patients who had nodule. The risk of thyroid cancer increased significantly in presence of nodule (p = 0.003). Three patients had recurrence. No patient had distant metastasis. No patient died during the follow-up period.

Conclusions: Especially Graves' patients who have been decided to be followed up should be evaluated carefully during the follow-up in terms of thyroid cancer which may accompany.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graves Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Graves Disease / epidemiology*
  • Graves Disease / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology
  • Thyroid Nodule / diagnostic imaging
  • Thyroid Nodule / epidemiology*
  • Thyroid Nodule / pathology
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma