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Microwave ablation of thyroid nodules: effects on recurrence and outcome


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Abstract

Background: Microwave ablation developed into an accepted treatment for benign thyroid nodules. Definition and risk factors for recurrence are under discussion. We assumed recurrence in case of a second procedure for the same reason or if clinical symptoms reappear after initial relief, and analyzed our prospectively collected data for risk factors and outcome.

Methods: Indications included benign thyroid nodules (n=24), cystic nodules (n=9), autonomous functioning nodules (n=9), recurrent cancer (n=3) and Basedow’s disease (n=2). For microwave ablation, a CE certified generator was used. All procedures were conducted under ultrasound control and with general anesthesia or mild sedation. Followup included ultrasound, laboratory parameters and a standardized questionnaire.

Results: A total of 47 patients were enrolled into the study. Among them were 19 cases with risk factors for recurrence which were defined as nodule size exceeding 4 cm with or without cystic appearance. Recurrence occurred in 9 cases leadig to conventional hemithyreoidectomy (n=1), reablation (n=5) or sclerotherapy (n=1). The association of recurrence with the presence of a risk factor was statistically significant (p<0,001, Chi square test). In case of recurrence, statistically significant less energy was deployed in comparison to successful MCT (0,39 +/- 0,31 kJ/mL vs. 1,57 +/- 2,37 kJ/mL, p< 0,005, t-test).

Conclusion: Recurrence is a common problem following microwave ablation of thyroid nodules. Nodules > 4 cm and cystic disease seem to predispose for treatment failure. Further studies are required to define recurrence and the best indications for microwave ablation of thyroid nodules.

Keywords

thyroid ablation, microwave ablation, recurrence

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