Thyroid cancer in pregnant women: diagnostic and therapeutic management

Thyroid. 1994 Winter;4(4):433-5. doi: 10.1089/thy.1994.4.433.


There is considerable literature on the effect of pregnancy on established thyroid cancer. In contrast, there are only isolated case reports of management of thyroid cancer diagnosed de novo during pregnancy. We describe four such patients. We recommend fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNA) of solitary thyroid nodules found early in pregnancy. When the cytopathology is diagnostic of thyroid cancer, thyroidectomy under local or general anesthesia is advised. The patient should be given levothyroxine in a dose sufficient to keep serum thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) low. Serum thyroglobulin is a valuable noninvasive method of evaluating completeness of this therapy. The work-up of a nodule found late in pregnancy is best deferred until after delivery.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / therapy
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / therapy
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / therapy