Influence of Hashimoto Thyroiditis on the Development of Thyroid Nodules and Cancer in Children and Adolescents

Giorgio Radetti, Sandro Loche, Valeria D'Antonio, Mariacarolina Salerno, Chiara Guzzetti, Tommaso Aversa, Alessandra Cassio, Marco Cappa, Roberto Gastaldi, Filippo Deluca, Maria Cristina Vigone, Giulia Maria Tronconi, Andrea Corrias

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It is unclear whether patients with Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) are predisposed to develop thyroid nodules and/or thyroid cancer. The objective of our study was therefore to assess the prevalence of thyroid nodules and/or cancer in patients with HT and to look for possible prognostic factors. A retrospective survey of 904 children/adolescents with HT (709 females, 195 males) regularly followed in nine Italian centers of pediatric endocrinology was performed. Median period of follow-up was 4.5 years (1.2 to 12.8 years). We evaluated free T4, TSH, thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOAb), thyroglobulin antibodies, and thyroid ultrasound yearly. One hundred seventy-four nodules were detected, with an annual incidence rate of 3.5%. Ten nodules were malignant (8 papillary and 2 papillary follicular variant), giving a 5.7% prevalence of cancer among patients with nodules. The severity of hypoechogenity at ultrasound, TPOAb, and free T4 serum concentrations were predictive for the appearance of new nodules. Furthermore, a positive correlation was observed between TPOAb titer and the development of thyroid cancer. In conclusion, HT seems to influence the development of thyroid nodules, but not cancer in children and adolescents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-616
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrine Connections
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2019

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