Background: About 10% of cervico-mediastinal goiter need to associate cervicotomy with a total or partial sternotomy to allow a safe removal of the goiter. Aim of this study is to identify preoperative predictors of sternotomy for mediastinal goiter.
Methods: Between January 2008 and December 2015, 586 patients were submitted to total thyroidectomy at Surgical Clinic of Brescia, Italy. Among these, patients with cervico-mediastinal goiter have been divided in two groups based on the necessity of an associated sternotomy in the operating field: Group 1 (n = 40 patients) did not need sternotomy and Group 2 (n = 4 patients) underwent cervicotomy associated with sternotomy. Clinical and pathological characteristics of patients were retrospectivelly recorded.
Results: Among study group, 44 patients had cervico-mediastinal goiter. Thoracic CT was performed in all patients: an extension above aortic arch was found in 41 patients (93.18%) while an extention below aortic arch was found in 3 patients (6.82%). The extension of the goiter below the aortic arch resulted as a predictive value in the choice of surgical treatment (p = 0.0001). The thyroiditis process was found to be a significant predictive of the extention to a sternotomic approach (p = 0.029). The years of goiter's presence were on average 8.40 years in Group 1 and 14.75 years in Group 2. These parameters proved to be predictive when choosing a cervicotomy with sternotomy.
Conclusions: Our study, despite limitations posed by small sample and its retrospective analisys, highlights the role of goiter's extention (below the aortic arch), disease length (for more than 14.75 years) and flogistic process (positivity of Tg Ab and anti-TPO-Ab) in the choice of combined (cervicotomic and sternotomic) approach to goiter's removal.
Keywords: Cervico-mediastinal goiter; Sternotomy; Thyroidectomy; Thyroiditis.