Investigation of different types of carcinomas among differentiated thyroid cancer patients managed in the Department of Nuclear Medicine

Mpumelelo Nyathi, Nyebe Phineas Mahlangu


Differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC) are abnormal tissues growing around the thyroid gland manifesting in various forms, they vary according to geographic locations and life style. Knowledge of different types of DTC is important in order to implement cost effective treatment strategies.

This study was aimed at establishing the types of thyroid cancers among DTC patients managed with radioiodine post-surgery in the Department of Nuclear Medicine at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital (DGMAH) in South Africa.

A retrospective five year (2007–2013) review of patient files managed post-surgery in the Nuclear Medicine Department for various thyroid diseases. A total of 51 patient files were examined. Males and females who received at least a single treatment dose of radioiodine (I-131) qualified for the study thus excluding 26 patients treated for grave’s disease and 9 DTC patients who did not receive a dose of radioiodine. A pie chart was used for categorical variables of the subtypes of carcinomas.

The follicular carcinoma was the leading malignancy: 8 /16; (50 per cent); followed by the papillary carcinomas amounting to 6/16; (37.5); only one patient was managed for the Hurtle cell carcinoma; 1/16 (6.25 per cent) and also one patient for poorly differentiated follicular carcinoma, 1/16; (6.25 per cent).

Follicular carcinoma was found to be the most common type of DTC managed at DGMAH followed by papillary carcinoma. However, the Hurtle cell carcinoma and the poorly differentiated follicular carcinomas were found to be rare.
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