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Prediction of central lymph node metastasis in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma according to clinicopathologic factors and thyroid nodule sonographic features: a case-control study

Authors Jin WX, Ye DR, Sun YH, Zhou XF, Wang OC, Zhang XH, Cai YF

Received 30 March 2018

Accepted for publication 23 May 2018

Published 4 September 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 3237—3243

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CMAR.S169741

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Antonella D'Anneo


Wen-Xu Jin,1,2,* Dan-Rong Ye,2,* Yi-Han Sun,2,* Xiao-Fen Zhou,2 Ou-Chen Wang,2 Xiao-Hua Zhang,2 Ye-Feng Cai2

1Department of Vascular Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, 325000, China; 2Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, 325000, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Preoperative diagnosis of central lymph node metastasis (CLNM) poses to be a challenge in clinical node-negative papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC). This research work aims at investigating the association existing between BRAF mutation, clinicopathological factors, ultrasound characteristics, and CLNM, in addition to establishing a predictive model for CLNM in PTMC.
Materials and methods: The study included 673 PTMC patients, already undergone total thyroidectomy or lobectomy with prophylactic central lymph node dissection. The predictor factors were identified through univariate and multivariate analyses. The support vector machine was put to use to develop statistical models, which could predict CLNM on the basis of independent predictors.
Results: Tumor size (>5 mm), lower location, no well-defined margin, contact of >25% with the adjacent capsule, display of enlarged lymph nodes, and BRAF mutation were independent predictors of CLNM. Through the use of the predictive model, 79.6% of the patients were classified accurately, the sensitivity and specificity amounted to be 85.1% and 75.8%, respectively, and the positive predictive value and negative predictive value stood at 71.6% and 87.6%, respectively.
Conclusions: We established a predictive model in order to predict CLNM preoperatively in PTMC when preoperative diagnosis of CLNM was not clear.

Keywords: papillary thyroid microcarcinoma, central lymph node, predictive factor, support vector machine

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