OBJECTIVE: The present study prospectively investigated prevalence and features of thyroid cancer in patients with hepatitis C virus-related chronic hepatitis (HCV+) in comparison to two samples from the general population with different iodine intake.DESIGN: We studied the prevalence of thyroid cancer in 308 unselected HCV+ patients in comparison to two population-based, gender- and age-matched control groups: 1) 616 subjects from an iodine deficient area; 2) 616 subjects from an iodine-sufficient area. Thyroid status was assessed by measurement of circulating thyroid hormones and autoantibodies, thyroid ultrasonography, and when indicated, fine-needle aspiration cytology.MAIN OUTCOME: Circulating thyrotropin, anti-thyroglobulin, and anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies levels, and the prevalence of hypothyroidism were significantly higher in HCV+ patients (p < 0.001 for all). Six patients with papillary thyroid cancer were detected among HCV+ patients, whereas no case was observed in control 1 (p = 0.001), and only one case was observed in control 2 (p = 0.003). In HCV+ patients 83% with thyroid cancer had evidence of thyroid autoimmunity vs 31% of the other HCV+ patients (p = 0.02).CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest a high prevalence of thyroid papillary cancer in HCV+ patients, overall in presence of thyroid autoimmunity; careful thyroid monitoring is indicated during the follow-up of these patients.
Thyroid cancer in HCV-related chronic hepatitis patients: a case-control study / Antonelli, A; Ferri, Clodoveo; Fallahi, P; Pampana, A; Ferrari, Sm; Barani, L; Marchi, S; Ferrannini, E.. - In: THYROID. - ISSN 1050-7256. - STAMPA. - 17:5(2007), pp. 447-451. [10.1089/thy.2006.0194]