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ORIGINAL ARTICLERetrospective Analysis of Thyroid Nodules: Thyroid Cancer Risk Factors in Suzhou, China by Chenlu Zhu, Shuxiang Li, Xin Gao, Gengchao Zhu, Miaoli Song, Fei Gao

Background: Thyroid nodules are common, frequently discovered in clinical practice and the incidence has increased in recent decades. They are clinically important primarily due to their malignant potential, because 2 to 5% are malignant. Correct identification of the malignancy in thyroid nodules is a diagnostic challenge, leading to potentially unnecessary surgery in patients for whom final histology is benign. Because there is no accurate preoperative detection, it is very important to predict the risk of malignancy in patients with nodular thyroid disease.
Methods: The medical records of 405 patients who underwent surgery for nodular thyroid disease were retrospectively reviewed. Then clinical parameters and preoperative serum markers were compared between benign thyroid nodular disease and thyroid cancer groups.
Results: Younger than 40 years (OR 2.14, 95% CI 1.02 - 4.47, p = 0.044), preoperative TSH levels equal to or higher than 1.79 mIU/L (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.05 - 2.95, p = 0.033), TgAb positivity (OR 2.59 95% CI 1.25 - 5.37, p = 0.01) and nodules less than or equal to 1 cm (OR 5.51, 95% CI 2.61 - 11.66, p < 0.001) were associated with increased risk of thyroid cancer in patients with thyroid nodules.
Conclusions: The retrospective analysis suggests that younger patients with nodular thyroid disease cannot ignore the small size nodules, especially those with higher TSH levels and TgAb positivity.

DOI: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2017.170829