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Minerva Endocrinologica 2012 September;37(3):267-74


language: English

Changing clinical characteristics of thyroid carcinoma at a single center from Turkey: before and after the Chernobyl disaster

Ozdemir D. 1, Dagdelen S. 1, Kiratli P. 2, Tuncel M. 2, Erbas B. 2, Erbas T. 1

1 Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey; 2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey


Aim. The aim of the study was to determine the possible role of Chernobyl disaster on changing clinical features of thyroid carcinoma (TC) in a moderately iodine deficient region.
Methods. We retrospectively reviewed demographical features, presenting symptoms, tumor size, histopathological diagnosis and distant metastates in 160 patients with TC diagnosed between 1990-2007. We compared our findings with the database of 118 TC patients diagnosed between 1970-1990 in the same center.
Results. There were 123 female (76.9%) and 37 (23.1%) male patients with a mean age of 44.89±14.84. Sex distribution and age at diagnosis were similar between 1970-1990 and 1990-2007 (P=0.77 and P=0.42, respectively). Histopathological diagnoses were papillary in 114 (73.1%), follicular in 22 (14.1%), medullary in 9 (5.8%), hurthle cell in 7 (4.5%) and anaplastic TC in 4 (2.6%) patients. We observed a marked increase in papillary TC (P<0.001) and marked decreases in follicular (P<0.001) and anaplastic TC (P=0.01) compared to the period between 1970-1990. Thyroid microcarcinomas accounted for 27.1% and 37.1% of carcinomas in 1970-1990 and 1990-2007, respectively (P<0.05).
Conclusion. We showed that incidence of papillary TC increased and incidences of follicular and anaplastic TC decreased in a period that might be affected by Chernobyl fallout in a moderately iodine deficient area. Presenting symptoms of TC have changed and microcarcinomas are diagnosed more frequently compared to past. Further large scale trials are needed to find out whether Chernobyl disaster has role on changing characteristic of TC in countries that are not very near but also not very far from Chernobyl such as Turkey.

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