Influence of tumor extent on central lymph node metastasis in solitary papillary thyroid microcarcinomas: a retrospective study of 1092 patients


                  <p>The morbidity of papillary thyroid microcarcinomas is increasing worldwide. Surgery is the main treatment for papillary thyroid microcarcinomas, and the choice of surgical method partly depends on the T stage of the tumor. However, according to the American Joint Commission on Cancer staging system (7th edition), the T stage of papillary thyroid microcarcinomas with different tumor extent is unclear. We aimed to study the effect of tumor extent and other factors on central lymph node metastasis to explore the relationship between tumor extent and T stage and to identify the risk factors predicting central lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid microcarcinomas.</p> 

                  <p>We included 1092 patients diagnosed with solitary papillary thyroid microcarcinomas between July 2011 and April 2016. The tumor extent and other central lymph node metastasis risk factors were retrospectively analyzed.</p> 

                  <p>Univariate analysis revealed that capsule invasion and extracapsular extension (<em>P</em> = 0.013, &lt;0.001; respectively) were significantly correlated with central lymph node metastasis. On multivariate analysis, extracapsular extension was independent central lymph node metastasis predictors (odds ratio 3.092, 95% CI 1.744–5.484), while capsule invasion was not (odds ratio 1.212, 95% CI 0.890–1.651). In addition, multivariate analysis revealed that male sex, tumor size &gt;5 mm, and age &lt;45 years were independent central lymph node metastasis predictors (odds ratio 2.072, 2.356, 2.302; 95% CI 1.483–2.894, 1.792–3.099, 1.748–3.031; respectively).</p> 

                  <p>This study supported that capsule invasion and tumor limited to the thyroid in papillary thyroid microcarcinomas were suitable for the lower T1, that is, capsule invasion in papillary thyroid microcarcinomas might not belong to the minimal extrathyroid extension included in T3 of TNM staging. In addition, patients with risk factors of extrathyroid extension, male sex, age &lt;45 years, or tumor size &gt;5 mm in papillary thyroid microcarcinomas should consider a more aggressive surgical treatment.</p> 
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