Patients exposed to diagnostic head and neck radiation for the management of shunted hydrocephalus have a significant risk of developing thyroid nodules

Patients exposed to diagnostic head and neck radiation for the management of shunted hydrocephalus have a significant risk of developing thyroid nodules

Pediatric Surgery International

June 2016, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 565–569

Jennifer H. Aldrink, Brent Adler, Jesse Haines, Daniel Watkins, Mika Matthews, Lacey Lubeley, Wei Wang, Denis R. King

Original Article

First Online: 15 April 2016

DOI: 10.1007/s00383-016-3894-1

Cite this article as:

Aldrink, J.H., Adler, B., Haines, J. et al. Pediatr Surg Int (2016) 32: 565. doi:10.1007/s00383-016-3894-1

AbstractExternal radiation to the head and neck can lead to an increased incidence of thyroid nodules. We investigated whether patients requiring repeated head and neck imaging for the management of shunted hydrocephalus had a higher incidence of ultrasound-detected thyroid nodules compared to reports of comparable age.

Methods
Patients treated at our institution for shunted hydrocephalus from 1990 to 2003 were contacted. Enroled patients underwent a thyroid ultrasound. Demographic data and radiation exposure history were obtained retrospectively.
Results
Thyroid nodules were identified sonographically in 15/112 patients (13.6 %). Patients with thyroid nodules were older (mean 24.3 ± 7.6 years) than those without (mean 18.4 ± 8.0 years) (p = 0.005). Those with a detectable thyroid nodule had a longer follow up time compared to those who did not (mean 21.9 ± 5.5 vs. 15.1 ± 7 years, respectively) (p = 0.018).
Conclusion
Patients with shunted hydrocephalus are exposed to substantial head and neck radiation from diagnostic imaging and have a higher incidence of thyroid nodules detected by ultrasonography. These patients should be provided ongoing surveillance for detection of thyroid nodules and the possibility of malignancy.
Read more: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00383-016-3894-1

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