Background: Hyperthyroidism is associated with high incidence of thyroid carcinoma; furthermore, tumors arisen in hyperthyroid tissue show an aggressive behavior. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and Thyroid-stimulating antibodies, present in Graves's disease, seem to play a key role in carcinogenesis and tumoral growth.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed our series of patients who underwent thyroidectomy for thyroid carcinoma. We compared pathological features and surgical outcomes of hyperthyroid versus euthyroid patients.
Results: From 2007 to 2015, 909 thyroidectomies were performed at our institution for thyroid cancer: 87 patients were hyperthyroid and 822 euthyroid. We observed, in hyperthyroid patients, a higher rate of transient hypoparathyroidism (28.1% vs 13.2%; p < 0.01) and of node metastases (12.6% vs 6.1%; p = 0.03); also local recurrence rate was higher (5.7% vs 2.5%) even if not statistically significant (p = 0.17). Five-year disease free survival rate was significant lower in the same group (89.1% vs 96.6%; p = 0.03).
Conclusion: Thyroid cancers in hyperthyroid patients have an aggressive behavior, with high incidence of local invasion and a worse prognosis than euthyroid patients. All hyperthyroid patients should undergo a careful evaluation with ultrasound and scintigraphy; in case of suspicious nodules, an aggressive approach, including thyroidectomy and lymphectomy, is justified. In patients with toxic adenoma, thyroid cancer is uncommon, thus a loboisthmectomy can be safely performed.
Trial registration number: Research registry n. 2670 registered 19 June 2017 (retrospectively registered).
Keywords: Graves’ disease; Hyperthyroidism; Thyroid carcinoma; Thyroidectomy.