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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 41-45

Stimulated serum thyroglobulin levels versus unstimulated serum thyroglobulin in the follow-up of patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma

Department of Nuclear Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Julie Hephzibah
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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DOI: 10.4103/wjnm.WJNM_20_17

PMID: 29398964

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Serum thyroglobulin (Tg) and thyroid whole-body radioiodine scintigraphy (TWBS) are used in the follow-up of patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) after total thyroidectomy. Symptoms of hypothyroidism are frequent as patients discontinue levothyroxine 1 month before visit, favoring the use of unstimulated serum Tg (uSTg) only. This study was done to determine the reliability of stimulated serum Tg levels (sSTg) over uSTg. A total of 650 patients with PTC came for follow-up between June 2011 and 2016. In those who had levels of uSTg and sSTg months measured within an interval of median of 3 months (range from 1 to 8 months), risk stratification was done as per the American Thyroid Association guidelines 2015. Intervention was based on a cutoff value of sSTg >10 ng/ml in our institution and the same was used for data analysis. Out of 650 patients, 106 had paired Tg values. Low-, intermediate-, and high-risk groups comprised 40, 31, and 35 patients, respectively. The sSTg >10 ng/ml with uSTg <10 ng/ml in the same patient was noted in 22.5% (9/40) of the low-risk, 41.9% (13/31) of the intermediate-risk, and 14.2% (5/35) of the high-risk groups. The levels were corroborated with tumor burden as determined by additional clinical, ultrasonography neck, and TWBS findings. Our study highlights the superiority of sSTg over uSTg in the follow-up of PTC patients. Follow-up with uSTg alone may result in underestimating the tumor burden.

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