Influence of age and primary tumor size on the risk for residual/recurrent well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma

Steven Orlov, David Orlov, Michael Shaytzag, Mark Dowar, Vafa Tabatabaie, Philip Dwek, Jonathan Yip, Cindy Hu, Jeremy L. Freeman, Paul G. Walfish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background. Though age and primary tumor size predict cancer-specific survival in well-differentiated thyroid carcinoma (WDTC), their influence on residual/recurrent disease has not been elucidated. Methods. In a retrospective study, residual/recurrent disease was defined by the surrogate outcome of positive (≥2 lg/L) follow-up stimulated thyroglobulin after surgery and radioactive remnant ablation. Age, primary tumor size, and clinical staging systems were examined in the context of stimulated thyroglobulin outcome. Results. A total of 246 patients were followed up for a mean of 5.8 years. No significant difference in age (t(239) = 0.61, p > .05) or tumor size (t(237) = 0.16, p > .05) was found among patients with positive follow-up stimulated thyroglobulin compared with those with negative results. pTNM staging failed to demonstrate significant, stage-dependent increase in the percentage of patients with positive stimulated thyroglobulin, χ2(2, N = 229) = 0.17, p > .05, unlike staging based solely on surgical pathology, χ2(2, N = 241) = 34.97, p < .001. Conclusion. Age, primary tumor size, and pTNM staging do not predict risk for residual/recurrent WDTC, whereas extrathyroidal extension at initial surgery is predictive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-788
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical predictors
  • DeGroot staging
  • Patient age
  • Primary tumor size
  • Thyroid carcinoma
  • pTNM staging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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