Background: The routine measurement of serum calcitonin (CT) has been proposed for patients with nodular thyroid disease (NTD), to detect unsuspected medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) before surgery. Objective: To assess the prevalence of hyper-calcitoninemia and MTC in NTD patients; to compare the ability of CT measurement and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) to predict MTC; to identify age groups of NTD patients who should be better candidates than others to undergo routine measurement of CT. Patients and methods: 1425 consecutive patients, referred from April 1, 2003, through March 31, 2004, to four Italian endocrine centers due to NTD, were grouped depending on age, and underwent basal and, in some cases, pentagastrin (Pg)-stimulated CT measurement, FNAC and, when indicated, surgery. Serum CT concentrations were measured by an immunoluminometric assay (ILMA). Results: Hyper-calcitoninemia was found in 23 out of 1425 patients. MTC was discovered in 9 patients, all > 40 yr old and showing high CT levels. Sensitivity of basal and Pg-stimulated CT to predict MTC before surgery was 100% for both tests, whereas specificity was 95 and 93%, respectively. CT specificity reached 100% when a cutoff value of 20 pg/ml was taken. FNAC showed an overall 86% sensitivity. When > 10 mm MTC nodules were considered, FNAC sensitivity approached 100%. On the contrary, a correct cytological diagnosis was obtained in only one out of five patients with < 10 mm MTC nodules (microMTC); in one patient with histologically proved microMTC, FNAC even demonstrated a benign lesion. Hypercalcitoninemia or MTC were associated with chronic thyroiclitis in 30 or 33% of cases, respectively. C-cell hyperplasia was found in 57% of hypercalcitoninemic patients without MTC. Conclusions: Basal CT measurement detects elevated CT values in 1.6% of NTD patients. Although CT is not a specific marker of MTC, its routine measurement represents a useful tool in the pre-operative evaluation of NTD patients, particularly those > 40 yr old presenting with nodules < 10 mm, even when FNAC does not show malignant features. To our knowledge, this is the first trial using ILMA to assess the ability of pre-operative CT measurement to predict MTC in a large series of NTD patients.
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|Anno di pubblicazione:||2006|
|Titolo:||Value of routine measurement of serum calcitonin concentrations in patients with nodular thyroid disease: A multicenter study|
|Autori:||Papi G; Corsello SM; Cioni K; Pizzini AM; Corrado S; Carapezzi C; Fadda G; Baldini A; Carani C; Pontecorvi A; Roti E|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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