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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


FARDELLA B, Carlos et al. Pathological characteristics of thyroid microcarcinoma: A review of 402 biopsies . Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.11, pp.1305-1310. ISSN 0034-9887.

Thyroid microcarcinoma is a tumor of 10 mm or less, that should have a low risk of mortality. However, a subgroup of these carcinomas is as aggressive as bigger tumors. Aim: To describe the pathological presentation of these tumors, and compare them with larger tumors. Material and methods: All pathological samples of thyroid carcinoma that were obtained between 1992 and 2003, were studied. In all biopsies, the pathological type, tumor size, the focal or multifocal character, the presence of lymph node involvement and the presence of lymphocytic thyroiditis or thyroid hyperplasia, were recorded. Results: One hundred eighteen microcarcinomas and 284 larger tumors were studied. The mean age of patients with microcarcinoma and larger tumors was 42.7±14 and 49.3±16 years respectively (p <0,001) and 83% were female, without gender differences between tumor types. Mean size of microcarcinomas was 8.6 mm and 116 (98%) were papillary carcinomas. Of these, 109 (94%) were well differentiated and seven (6%) were moderately differentiated. Thirty six (31%) were multifocal and in 10 (8,6%), there was lymph node involvement. The mean size of larger tumors was 23.8 mm and 241 (85%) were papillary carcinomas. Of these, 200 (83%) were well differentiated, and 41 (17%) were moderately differentiated. Eighty five (35%) were multifocal and in 44 (18%) there was lymph node involvement. The prevalence of thyroiditis and hyperplasia was significantly higher among microcarcinomas than in larger tumors (15 and 2.5%, respectively, p <0.001, for the former; 32.4 and 1.7%, respectively, p <0.001, for the latter). Conclusions: In this series, one third of microcarcinomas were multifocal and 10% had lymph node involvement. Therefore, the aggressiveness of these tumors is higher than what is reported in the literature and they should be treated with total thyroidectomy

Palabras clave : Neoplasms; glandular and epithelial; Thyroid neoplasms; Thyroidectomy.

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