Preoperatively Predicting the Central Lymph Node Metastasis for Papillary Thyroid Cancer Patients With Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Jul 22:12:713475. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.713475. eCollection 2021.


Background: The preoperative distinguishment of lymph nodes with reactive hyperplasia or tumor metastasis plays a pivotal role in guiding the surgical extension for papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) with Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), especially in terms of the central lymph node (CLN) dissection. We aim to identify the preparative risk factors for CLN metastasis in PTC patients concurrent with HT.

Materials and methods: We retrospectively reviewed and analyzed the data including the basic information, preoperative sonographic characteristics, and thyroid function of consecutive PTC patients with HT in our medical center between Jan 2019 and Apr 2021. The Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests were used for comparison of qualitative variables among patients with or without CLN metastasis. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine the risk factors for CLN metastasis. The nomogram was constructed and further evaluated by two cohorts produced by 1,000 resampling bootstrap analysis.

Results: A total of 98 in 214 (45.8%) PTC patients were identified with CLN metastasis. In multivariate analysis, four variables including high serum thyroglobulin antibody (TgAb) level (>1,150 IU/ml), lower tumor location, irregular margin of CLN, and micro-calcification in the CLN were determined to be significantly associated with the CLN metastasis in PTC patients with HT. An individualized nomogram was consequently established with a favorable C-index of 0.815 and verified via two internal validation cohorts.

Conclusions: Our results indicated that preoperatively sonographic characteristics of the tumor and lymph node condition combined with serum TgAb level can significantly predict the CLN in PTC patients with HT and the novel nomogram may further help surgeons to manage the CLN in this subpopulation.

Keywords: central lymph node metastasis; nomogram; risk factor; thyroid carcinoma; ultrasound characteristics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Calcinosis / pathology
  • China
  • Female
  • Hashimoto Disease / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / diagnosis*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nomograms
  • Preoperative Period*
  • Prophylactic Surgical Procedures
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Thyroid Cancer, Papillary / pathology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Autoantibodies
  • anti-thyroglobulin