Association between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and papillary thyroid carcinoma: a retrospective analysis of 305 patients

BACKGROUND:

The association between Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (HT) and papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is a controversial question that is still under debate, its pathological significance and the eventual clinical implications of this association remaining unclear.

METHODS:

The data regarding 305 patients were retrospectively analyzed. The patients were divided in two different groups. A first group made up of 142 patients undergoing surgery for differentiated thyroid carcinoma was compared to a control group of 142 analogous subjects operated for normofunctioning goiter. A second group was made up of 163 patients who had undergone total thyroidectomy (TT) with pre-operative diagnosis of HT.

RESULTS:

In the first group of patients an association with HT was found in 28,6% of the patients with final histopathological diagnosis of PTC versus 7,7% of the patients with histopathological diagnosis of multinodular goiter, which was a significant difference (p <  0.001). In the second group, the association with PTC was found in 43 (40,2%) cases of HT nodular variant and in 3 cases (8,1%) of HT diffuse variant (p <  0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The relationship between HT and PTC is still far from clear and represents an unresolved issue. Our own study has underlined the frequent coexistence of these two pathologies, an aspect not to be neglected in clinical practice. Patients receiving HT diagnosis should undergo careful follow-up and, especially those with the nodular variant, should undergo a frequent both clinical and cytological evaluation of the nodular lesions, taking always into great consideration the surgical approach of total thyroidectomy.