World Journal of Endocrine Surgery

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VOLUME 2 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2010 ) > List of Articles


Is Prophylactic Central Compartment Lymph Node Dissection Necessary for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma?

Gerard M Doherty, Travis J McKenzie, Joseph B Lillegard, Clive S Grant, Ian D Hay, James E Fisher, Geoffrey B Thompson

Citation Information : Doherty GM, McKenzie TJ, Lillegard JB, Grant CS, Hay ID, Fisher JE, Thompson GB. Is Prophylactic Central Compartment Lymph Node Dissection Necessary for Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma?. World J Endoc Surg 2010; 2 (1):1-7.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10002-1013

Published Online: 01-08-2012

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2010; The Author(s).


The need for prophylactic central compartment lymph node dissection in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma continues to be a subject of ongoing debate. Regional lymph node metastases are a common finding with papillary thyroid carcinoma, with an incidence as high as 50% or more. With the widespread use of high resolution ultrasound and sensitive thyroglobulin assays, lymph node metastases, not appreciated at the time of surgery, are showing up in the follow-up period, creating significant angst amongst patients, endocrinologists, and their surgeons. It was previously thought that lymph node metastases in papillary thyroid carcinoma had little bearing on survival, but this has more recently been challenged. Opponents of prophylactic central compartment node dissection cite high perioperative morbidity as a word of caution in performing prophylactic central neck dissections. The following review will look at the most up-to-date literature and best evidence for arriving at logical and sensible recommendations. This review will also look at specific definitions of what is a central compartment lymph node dissection. In the hands of experienced thyroid surgeons, prophylactic central compartment lymph node dissection, performed in a meticulous manner, can limit persistent or recurrent disease in the central compartment, and can diminish the need for routine administration of radioactive iodine, with acceptable perioperative morbidit

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