Radiofrequency Ablation of Benign Thyroid Nodules Does Not Affect Thyroid Function in Patients with Previous Lobectomy
Eun Ju Ha, Jung Hwan Baek, et al
Thyroid. March 2013, 23(3): 289-293.
Background: Surgical management of symptomatic benign thyroid nodules in patients with previous lobectomy poses a dilemma for physicians. Radiofrequency (RF) ablation may provide a treatment option that avoids surgery and preserves thyroid function. We evaluated whether RF ablation of benign thyroid nodules affects thyroid function in patients with previous lobectomy.
Methods: A total of 11 patients with 14 thyroid nodules were enrolled using the following criteria: (i) having a predominantly solid nodule; (ii) reporting pressure symptoms or cosmetic problems; (iii) cytological confirmation of benignancy; (iv) no malignant features detected using ultrasound; (v) serum thyroid hormone and thyrotropin (TSH) levels within normal limits; and (vi) refusal of or ineligibility for surgery. Thyroid function, nodule volumes, and clinical concerns were evaluated before RF ablation and during follow-up after RF ablation.
Results: The mean follow-up duration after RF ablation was 43.7±30.7 months (range=7–92 months). The mean nodule volume was 9.7 mL (0.9–57.6 mL) before the procedure, and was significantly decreased at the last follow-up (p<0.001) with a mean volume reduction rate of 87.2%. The mean symptom score (p=0.003) and cosmetic score (p=0.003) were both significantly decreased at the last follow-up. Levels of TSH, free thyroxine, and triiodothyronine were not significantly different prior to treatment and at the last follow-up (p>0.05), and remained normal in all patients.
Conclusions: In patients with previous lobectomy, RF ablation should be considered as a first-line treatment for symptomatic benign thyroid nodules to preserve thyroid function.