Background: Thyroid nodules are a common clinical problem, and differentiated thyroid cancer is becoming increasingly prevalent. Since the American Thyroid Association's (ATA's) guidelines for the management of these disorders were revised in 2009, significant scientific advances have occurred in the field. The aim of these guidelines is to inform clinicians, patients, researchers, and health policy makers on published evidence relating to the diagnosis and management of thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. Methods: The specific clinical questions addressed in these guidelines were based on prior versions of the guidelines, stakeholder input, and input of task force members. Task force panel members were educated on knowledge synthesis methods, including electronic database searching, review and selection of relevant citations, and critical appraisal of selected studies. Published English language articles on adults were eligible for inclusion. The American College of Physicians Guideline Grading System was used for critical appraisal of evidence and grading strength of recommendations for therapeutic interventions. We developed a similarly formatted system to appraise the quality of such studies and resultant recommendations. The guideline panel had complete editorial independence from the ATA. Competing interests of guideline task force members were regularly updated, managed, and communicated to the ATA and task force members. Results: The revised guidelines for the management of thyroid nodules include recommendations regarding initial evaluation, clinical and ultrasound criteria for fine-needle aspiration biopsy, interpretation of fine-needle aspiration biopsy results, use of molecular markers, and management of benign thyroid nodules. Recommendations regarding the initial management of thyroid cancer include those relating to screening for thyroid cancer, staging and risk assessment, surgical management, radioiodine remnant ablation and therapy, and thyrotropin suppression therapy using levothyroxine. Recommendations related to long-term management of differentiated thyroid cancer include those related to surveillance for recurrent disease using imaging and serum thyroglobulin, thyroid hormone therapy, management of recurrent and metastatic disease, consideration for clinical trials and targeted therapy, as well as directions for future research. Conclusions: We have developed evidence-based recommendations to inform clinical decision-making in the management of thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. They represent, in our opinion, contemporary optimal care for patients with these disorders.
Background: Thyroid disease in pregnancy is a common clinical problem. Since the guidelines for the management of these disorders by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) were first published in 2011, significant clinical and scientific advances have occurred in the field. The aim of these guidelines is to inform clinicians, patients, researchers, and health policy makers on published evidence relating to the diagnosis and management of thyroid disease in women during pregnancy, preconception, and the postpartum period. Methods: The specific clinical questions addressed in these guidelines were based on prior versions of the guidelines, stakeholder input, and input of task force members. Task force panel members were educated on knowledge synthesis methods, including electronic database searching, review and selection of relevant citations, and critical appraisal of selected studies. Published English language articles were eligible for inclusion. The American College of Physicians Guideline Grading System was used for critical appraisal of evidence and grading strength of recommendations. The guideline task force had complete editorial independence from the ATA. Competing interests of guideline task force members were regularly updated, managed, and communicated to the ATA and task force members. Results: The revised guidelines for the management of thyroid disease in pregnancy include recommendations regarding the interpretation of thyroid function tests in pregnancy, iodine nutrition, thyroid autoantibodies and pregnancy complications, thyroid considerations in infertile women, hypothyroidism in pregnancy, thyrotoxicosis in pregnancy, thyroid nodules and cancer in pregnant women, fetal and neonatal considerations, thyroid disease and lactation, screening for thyroid dysfunction in pregnancy, and directions for future research. Conclusions: We have developed evidence-based recommendations to inform clinical decision-making in the management of thyroid disease in pregnant and postpartum women. While all care must be individualized, such recommendations provide, in our opinion, optimal care paradigms for patients with these disorders.
Introduction: The American Thyroid Association appointed a Task Force of experts to revise the original Medullary Thyroid Carcinoma: Management Guidelines of the American Thyroid Association. Methods: The Task Force identified relevant articles using a systematic PubMed search, supplemented with additional published materials, and then created evidence-based recommendations, which were set in categories using criteria adapted from the United States Preventive Services Task Force Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The original guidelines provided abundant source material and an excellent organizational structure that served as the basis for the current revised document. Results: The revised guidelines are focused primarily on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) and hereditary MTC. Conclusions: The Task Force developed 67 evidence-based recommendations to assist clinicians in the care of patients with MTC. The Task Force considers the recommendations to represent current, rational, and optimal medical practice.
Background: Thyrotoxicosis has multiple etiologies, manifestations, and potential therapies. Appropriate treatment requires an accurate diagnosis and is influenced by coexisting medical conditions and patient preference. This document describes evidence-based clinical guidelines for the management of thyrotoxicosis that would be useful to generalist and subspecialty physicians and others providing care for patients with this condition. Methods: The American Thyroid Association (ATA) previously cosponsored guidelines for the management of thyrotoxicosis that were published in 2011. Considerable new literature has been published since then, and the ATA felt updated evidence-based guidelines were needed. The association assembled a task force of expert clinicians who authored this report. They examined relevant literature using a systematic PubMed search supplemented with additional published materials. An evidence-based medicine approach that incorporated the knowledge and experience of the panel was used to update the 2011 text and recommendations. The strength of the recommendations and the quality of evidence supporting them were rated according to the approach recommended by the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Group. Results: Clinical topics addressed include the initial evaluation and management of thyrotoxicosis; management of Graves' hyperthyroidism using radioactive iodine, antithyroid drugs, or surgery; management of toxic multinodular goiter or toxic adenoma using radioactive iodine or surgery; Graves' disease in children, adolescents, or pregnant patients; subclinical hyperthyroidism; hyperthyroidism in patients with Graves' orbitopathy; and management of other miscellaneous causes of thyrotoxicosis. New paradigms since publication of the 2011 guidelines are presented for the evaluation of the etiology of thyrotoxicosis, the management of Graves' hyperthyroidism with antithyroid drugs, the management of pregnant hyperthyroid patients, and the preparation of patients for thyroid surgery. The sections on less common causes of thyrotoxicosis have been expanded. Conclusions: One hundred twenty-four evidence-based recommendations were developed to aid in the care of patients with thyrotoxicosis and to share what the task force believes is current, rational, and optimal medical practice.
Background: A number of recent advances in our understanding of thyroid physiology may shed light on why some patients feel unwell while taking levothyroxine monotherapy. The purpose of this task force was to review the goals of levothyroxine therapy, the optimal prescription of conventional levothyroxine therapy, the sources of dissatisfaction with levothyroxine therapy, the evidence on treatment alternatives, and the relevant knowledge gaps. We wished to determine whether there are sufficient new data generated by well-designed studies to provide reason to pursue such therapies and change the current standard of care. This document is intended to inform clinical decision-making on thyroid hormone replacement therapy; it is not a replacement for individualized clinical judgment. Methods: Task force members identified 24 questions relevant to the treatment of hypothyroidism. The clinical literature relating to each question was then reviewed. Clinical reviews were supplemented, when relevant, with related mechanistic and bench research literature reviews, performed by our team of translational scientists. Ethics reviews were provided, when relevant, by a bioethicist. The responses to questions were formatted, when possible, in the form of a formal clinical recommendation statement. When responses were not suitable for a formal clinical recommendation, a summary response statement without a formal clinical recommendation was developed. For clinical recommendations, the supporting evidence was appraised, and the strength of each clinical recommendation was assessed, using the American College of Physicians system. The final document was organized so that each topic is introduced with a question, followed by a formal clinical recommendation. Stakeholder input was received at a national meeting, with some subsequent refinement of the clinical questions addressed in the document. Consensus was achieved for all recommendations by the task force. Results: We reviewed the following therapeutic categories: (i) levothyroxine therapy, (ii) non–levothyroxine-based thyroid hormone therapies, and (iii) use of thyroid hormone analogs. The second category included thyroid extracts, synthetic combination therapy, triiodothyronine therapy, and compounded thyroid hormones. Conclusions: We concluded that levothyroxine should remain the standard of care for treating hypothyroidism. We found no consistently strong evidence for the superiority of alternative preparations (e.g., levothyroxine–liothyronine combination therapy, or thyroid extract therapy, or others) over monotherapy with levothyroxine, in improving health outcomes. Some examples of future research needs include the development of superior biomarkers of euthyroidism to supplement thyrotropin measurements, mechanistic research on serum triiodothyronine levels (including effects of age and disease status, relationship with tissue concentrations, as well as potential therapeutic targeting), and long-term outcome clinical trials testing combination therapy or thyroid extracts (including subgroup effects). Additional research is also needed to develop thyroid hormone analogs with a favorable benefit to risk profile.
Background: Previous guidelines for the management of thyroid nodules and cancers were geared toward adults. Compared with thyroid neoplasms in adults, however, those in the pediatric population exhibit differences in pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and long-term outcomes. Furthermore, therapy that may be recommended for an adult may not be appropriate for a child who is at low risk for death but at higher risk for long-term harm from overly aggressive treatment. For these reasons, unique guidelines for children and adolescents with thyroid tumors are needed. Methods: A task force commissioned by the American Thyroid Association (ATA) developed a series of clinically relevant questions pertaining to the management of children with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC). Using an extensive literature search, primarily focused on studies that included subjects ≤18 years of age, the task force identified and reviewed relevant articles through April 2014. Recommendations were made based upon scientific evidence and expert opinion and were graded using a modified schema from the United States Preventive Services Task Force. Results: These inaugural guidelines provide recommendations for the evaluation and management of thyroid nodules in children and adolescents, including the role and interpretation of ultrasound, fine-needle aspiration cytology, and the management of benign nodules. Recommendations for the evaluation, treatment, and follow-up of children and adolescents with DTC are outlined and include preoperative staging, surgical management, postoperative staging, the role of radioactive iodine therapy, and goals for thyrotropin suppression. Management algorithms are proposed and separate recommendations for papillary and follicular thyroid cancers are provided. Conclusions: In response to our charge as an independent task force appointed by the ATA, we developed recommendations based on scientific evidence and expert opinion for the management of thyroid nodules and DTC in children and adolescents. In our opinion, these represent the current optimal care for children and adolescents with these conditions.
The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (TBSRTC) established a standardized, category-based reporting system for thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens. The 2017 revision reaffirms that every thyroid FNA report should begin with one of six diagnostic categories, the names of which remain unchanged since they were first introduced: (i) nondiagnostic or unsatisfactory; (ii) benign; (iii) atypia of undetermined significance (AUS) or follicular lesion of undetermined significance (FLUS); (iv) follicular neoplasm or suspicious for a follicular neoplasm; (v) suspicious for malignancy; and (vi) malignant. There is a choice of two different names for some of the categories. A laboratory should choose the one it prefers and use it exclusively for that category. Synonymous terms (e.g., AUS and FLUS) should not be used to denote two distinct interpretations. Each category has an implied cancer risk that ranges from 0% to 3% for the “benign” category to virtually 100% for the “malignant” category, and, in the 2017 revision, the malignancy risks have been updated based on new (post 2010) data. As a function of their risk associations, each category is linked to updated, evidence-based clinical management recommendations. The recent reclassification of some thyroid neoplasms as noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) has implications for the risk of malignancy, and this is accounted for with regard to diagnostic criteria and optional notes. Such notes can be useful in helping guide surgical management.
Background: Thyroid nodules are a common clinical problem, and differentiated thyroid cancer is becoming increasingly prevalent. Since the publication of the American Thyroid Association's guidelines for the management of these disorders was published in 2006, a large amount of new information has become available, prompting a revision of the guidelines. Methods: Relevant articles through December 2008 were reviewed by the task force and categorized by topic and level of evidence according to a modified schema used by the United States Preventative Services Task Force. Results: The revised guidelines for the management of thyroid nodules include recommendations regarding initial evaluation, clinical and ultrasound criteria for fine-needle aspiration biopsy, interpretation of fine-needle aspiration biopsy results, and management of benign thyroid nodules. Recommendations regarding the initial management of thyroid cancer include those relating to optimal surgical management, radioiodine remnant ablation, and suppression therapy using levothyroxine. Recommendations related to long-term management of differentiated thyroid cancer include those related to surveillance for recurrent disease using ultrasound and serum thyroglobulin as well as those related to management of recurrent and metastatic disease. Conclusions: We created evidence-based recommendations in response to our appointment as an independent task force by the American Thyroid Association to assist in the clinical management of patients with thyroid nodules and differentiated thyroid cancer. They represent, in our opinion, contemporary optimal care for patients with these disorders.
Background: Hypothyroidism has multiple etiologies and manifestations. Appropriate treatment requires an accurate diagnosis and is influenced by coexisting medical conditions. This paper describes evidence-based clinical guidelines for the clinical management of hypothyroidism in ambulatory patients. Methods: The development of these guidelines was commissioned by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) in association with American Thyroid Association (ATA). AACE and the ATA assembled a task force of expert clinicians who authored this article. The authors examined relevant literature and took an evidence-based medicine approach that incorporated their knowledge and experience to develop a series of specific recommendations and the rationale for these recommendations. The strength of the recommendations and the quality of evidence supporting each was rated according to the approach outlined in the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Protocol for Standardized Production of Clinical Guidelines—2010 update. Results: Topics addressed include the etiology, epidemiology, clinical and laboratory evaluation, management, and consequences of hypothyroidism. Screening, treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism, pregnancy, and areas for future research are also covered. Conclusions: Fifty-two evidence-based recommendations and subrecommendations were developed to aid in the care of patients with hypothyroidism and to share what the authors believe is current, rational, and optimal medical practice for the diagnosis and care of hypothyroidism. A serum thyrotropin is the single best screening test for primary thyroid dysfunction for the vast majority of outpatient clinical situations. The standard treatment is replacement with L-thyroxine. The decision to treat subclinical hypothyroidism when the serum thyrotropin is less than 10 mIU/L should be tailored to the individual patient.
Background: We showed previously that subclinical low-risk papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC) could be observed without immediate surgery. Patient age is an important prognostic factor of clinical papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). In this study, we investigated how patient age influences the observation of low-risk PTMC. Methods: Between 1993 and 2011, 1235 patients with low-risk PTMC chose observation without immediate surgery. They were followed periodically with ultrasound examinations. These patients were enrolled in this study. We divided them into three subsets based on age at the beginning of observation: young (<40 years), middle-aged (40–59 years), and old patients (≥60 years). Observation periods ranged from 18 to 227 months (average 75 months). Results: We set three parameters for the evaluation of PTMC progression: (i) size enlargement, (ii) novel appearance of lymph-node metastasis, and (iii) progression to clinical disease (tumor size reaching 12 mm or larger, or novel appearance of nodal metastasis). The proportion of patients with PTMC progression was lowest in the old patients and highest in the young patients. On multivariate analysis, young age was an independent predictor of PTMC progression. However, none of the 1235 patients showed distant metastasis or died of PTC during observation. Although only 51 patients (4%) underwent thyrotropin (TSH) suppression based on physician preference, the PTMC of all patients enrolled in this TSH suppression study, except one, were clinically stable. To date, 191 patients underwent surgery for various reasons after observation. None showed recurrence except for one in the residual thyroid, and none died of PTC after surgery. Conclusions: Old patients with subclinical low-risk PTMC may be the best candidates for observation. Although PTMC in young patients may be more progressive than in older patients, it might not be too late to perform surgery after subclinical PTMC has progressed to clinical disease, regardless of patient age.
Background: Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology is a common approach to evaluate thyroid nodules. It offers definitive diagnosis of a benign or malignant nodule in the majority of cases. However, 10–25% of nodules yield one of three indeterminate cytologic diagnoses, leading to suboptimal management of these patients. Atypia of undetermined significance/follicular lesion of undermined significance (AUS/FLUS) is a common indeterminate diagnosis, with the cancer risk ranging from 6% to 48%. This study assessed whether a multi-gene next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay can offer significant improvement in diagnosis in AUS/FLUS nodules. Methods: From May 2014 to March 2015, 465 consecutive FNA samples with the cytologic diagnosis of AUS/FLUS underwent prospective molecular testing using the ThyroSeq v2.1 panel. The panel included 14 genes analyzed for point mutations and 42 types of gene fusions occurring in thyroid cancer. In addition, eight genes were assessed for expression in order to evaluate the cell composition of FNA samples. Ninety-eight (21%) of these nodules had definitive surgical ( n = 96) or nonsurgical ( n = 2) follow-up and were used to determine the assay performance. Results: Among 465 AUS/FLUS nodules, three were found to be composed of parathyroid cells and 462 of thyroid follicular cells. Of the latter, 31 (6.7%) were positive for mutations. The most frequently mutated genes were NRAS and HRAS , and overall point mutations in seven different genes and five types of gene fusions were identified in these nodules. Among 98 nodules with known outcome, histologic analysis revealed 22 (22.5%) cancers. ThyroSeq v2.1 was able to classify 20/22 cancers correctly, showing a sensitivity of 90.9% [confidence interval (CI) 78.8–100], specificity of 92.1% [CI 86.0–98.2], positive predictive value of 76.9% [CI 60.7–93.1], and negative predictive value of 97.2% [CI 78.8–100], with an overall accuracy of 91.8% [CI 86.4–97.3]. Conclusions: The results of the study demonstrate that the ThyroSeq v2.1 multi-gene NGS panel of molecular markers provides both high sensitivity and high specificity for cancer detection in thyroid nodules with AUS/FLUS cytology, which should allow improved management for these patients.
Background: Thyrotoxicosis has multiple etiologies, manifestations, and potential therapies. Appropriate treatment requires an accurate diagnosis and is influenced by coexisting medical conditions and patient preference. This article describes evidence-based clinical guidelines for the management of thyrotoxicosis that would be useful to generalist and subspeciality physicians and others providing care for patients with this condition. Methods: The development of these guidelines was commissioned by the American Thyroid Association in association with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. The American Thyroid Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists assembled a task force of expert clinicians who authored this report. The task force examined relevant literature using a systematic PubMed search supplemented with additional published materials. An evidence-based medicine approach that incorporated the knowledge and experience of the panel was used to develop the text and a series of specific recommendations. The strength of the recommendations and the quality of evidence supporting each was rated according to the approach recommended by the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation Group. Results: Clinical topics addressed include the initial evaluation and management of thyrotoxicosis; management of Graves' hyperthyroidism using radioactive iodine, antithyroid drugs, or surgery; management of toxic multinodular goiter or toxic adenoma using radioactive iodine or surgery; Graves' disease in children, adolescents, or pregnant patients; subclinical hyperthyroidism; hyperthyroidism in patients with Graves' ophthalmopathy; and management of other miscellaneous causes of thyrotoxicosis. Conclusions: One hundred evidence-based recommendations were developed to aid in the care of patients with thyrotoxicosis and to share what the task force believes is current, rational, and optimal medical practice.
Background: Ultrasound and prophylactic dissections have facilitated identification of small-volume cervical lymph node (LN) metastases in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). Since most staging systems do not stratify risk based on size or number of LN metastases, even a single-microscopic LN metastasis can upstage a patient with low-risk papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PMC) to an intermediate risk of recurrence in the American Thyroid Association (ATA) system and to an increased risk of death in the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging system (stage III if the metastatic node is in the central neck or stage IVA if the microscopic LN metastasis is identified in the lateral neck). Such microscopic upstaging may lead to potentially unnecessary or additional treatments and follow-up studies. The goal of this review is to determine if the literature supports the concept that specific characteristics (clinically apparent size, number, and extranodal extension) of LN metastases can be used to stratify the risk of recurrence in PTC. Summary: In patients with pathological proven cervical LN metastases (pathological N1 disease; pN1), the median risk of loco-regional LN recurrence varies markedly by clinical staging, with recurrence rates for patients who are initially clinically N0 (clinical N0 disease; cN0) of 2% (range 0%–9%) versus rates of recurrence for patients who are initially clinically N-positive (clinical N1 disease; cN1) of 22% (range 10%–42%). Furthermore, the median risk of recurrence in pN1 patients varies markedly by the number of positive nodes, 5 nodes (19%, range 7%–21%). Additionally, the presence of extranodal extension was associated with a median risk of recurrence of 24% (range 15%–32%) and possibly a worse disease-specific survival. Conclusion: Our previous paradigm assigned the same magnitude of risk for all patients with N1 disease. However, small-volume subclinical microscopic N1 disease clearly conveys a much smaller risk of recurrence than large-volume, macroscopic clinically apparent loco-regional metastases. Armed with this information, clinicians will be better able to tailor initial treatment and follow-up recommendations. Implications of N1 stratification for PTC into small-volume microscopic disease versus clinically apparent macroscopic disease importantly relate to issues of prophylactic neck dissection utility, need for pathologic nodal size description, and suggest potential modifications to the AJCC TNM ( t umor, n odal disease, and distant m etastasis) and ATA risk recurrence staging systems.
Background: Inherited and sporadic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC) is an uncommon and challenging malignancy. The American Thyroid association (ATA) chose to create specific MTC Clinical Guidelines that would bring together and update the diverse MTC literature and combine it with evidence-based medicine and the knowledge and experience of a panel of expert clinicians. Methods: Relevant articles were identified using a systematic PubMed search and supplemented with additional published materials. Evidence-based recommendations were created and then categorized using criteria adapted from the United States Preventive Services Task Force, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Results: Clinical topics addressed in this scholarly dialog included: initial diagnosis and therapy of preclinical disease (including RET oncogene testing and the timing of prophylactic thyroidectomy), initial diagnosis and therapy of clinically apparent disease (including preoperative testing and imaging, extent of surgery, and handling of devascularized parathyroid glands), initial evaluation and treatment of postoperative patients (including the role of completion thyroidectomy), management of persistent or recurrent MTC (including the role of tumor marker doubling times, and treatment of patients with distant metastases and hormonally active metastases), long-term follow-up and management (including the frequency of follow-up and imaging), and directions for future research. Conclusions: One hundred twenty-two evidence-based recommendations were created to assist in the clinical care of MTC patients and to share what we believe is current, rational, and optimal medical practice.
Background: Anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC) is a rare but highly lethal form of thyroid cancer. Rapid evaluation and establishment of treatment goals are imperative for optimum patient management and require a multidisciplinary team approach. Here we present guidelines for the management of ATC. The development of these guidelines was supported by the American Thyroid Association (ATA), which requested the authors, members the ATA Taskforce for ATC, to independently develop guidelines for ATC. Methods: Relevant literature was reviewed, including serial PubMed searches supplemented with additional articles. The quality and strength of recommendations were adapted from the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians, which in turn was developed by the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation workshop. Results: The guidelines include the diagnosis, initial evaluation, establishment of treatment goals, approaches to locoregional disease (surgery, radiotherapy, systemic therapy, supportive care during active therapy), approaches to advanced/metastatic disease, palliative care options, surveillance and long-term monitoring, and ethical issues including end of life. The guidelines include 65 recommendations. Conclusions: These are the first comprehensive guidelines for ATC and provide recommendations for management of this extremely aggressive malignancy. Patients with stage IVA/IVB resectable disease have the best prognosis, particularly if a multimodal approach (surgery, radiation, systemic therapy) is used, and some stage IVB unresectable patients may respond to aggressive therapy. Patients with stage IVC disease should be considered for a clinical trial or hospice/palliative care, depending upon their preference.
Background: Dietary iodine intake is required for the production of thyroid hormone. Consequences of iodine deficiency include goiter, intellectual impairments, growth retardation, neonatal hypothyroidism, and increased pregnancy loss and infant mortality. Summary: In 1990, the United Nations World Summit for Children established the goal of eliminating iodine deficiency worldwide. Considerable progress has since been achieved, largely through programs of universal salt iodization. Approximately 70% of all households worldwide currently have access to adequately iodized salt. In 2013, as defined by a national or subnational median urinary iodine concentration of 100–299 μg/L in school-aged children, 111 countries have sufficient iodine intake. Thirty countries remain iodine-deficient; 9 are moderately deficient, 21 are mildly deficient, and none are currently considered severely iodine-deficient. Ten countries have excessive iodine intake. In North America, both the United States and Canada are generally iodine-sufficient, although recent data suggest pregnant U.S. women are mildly iodine-deficient. Emerging issues include discrepancies between urinary iodine status in pregnant women compared to school-aged children in some populations, the problem of re-emerging iodine deficiency in parts of the developed world, the importance of food industry use of iodized salt, regions of iodine excess, and the potential effects of initiatives to lower population sodium consumption on iodine intake. Conclusions: Although substantial progress has been made over the last several decades, iodine deficiency remains a significant health problem worldwide and affects both industrialized and developing nations. The ongoing monitoring of population iodine status remains crucially important, and particular attention may need to be paid to monitoring the status of vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and infants. There is also need for ongoing monitoring of iodized salt and other dietary iodine sources in order to prevent excess as well as insufficient iodine nutrition. Finally, it will be essential to coordinate interventions designed to reduce population sodium intake with salt iodization programs in order to maintain adequate levels of iodine nutrition as salt intake declines.
Objective: To address terminology and other issues related to thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) hosted The NCI Thyroid FNA State of the Science Conference. The conclusions regarding terminology and morphologic criteria from the NCI meeting led to the Bethesda Thyroid Atlas Project and form the framework for the Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology. Design: Participants of the Atlas Project were selected from among the committee members of the NCI FNA State of the Science Conference and other participants at the live conference. The terminology framework was based on a literature search of English language publications dating back to 1995 using PubMed as the search engine; online forum discussions (http://thyroidfna.cancer.gov/forums/default.aspx); and formal interdisciplinary discussions held on October 22 and 23, 2007, in Bethesda, MD. Main Outcome: For clarity of communication, the Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology recommends that each report begin with one of the six general diagnostic categories. Each of the categories has an implied cancer risk that links it to an appropriate clinical management guideline. Conclusions: The project participants hope that the adoption of this framework will facilitate communication among cytopathologists, endocrinologists, surgeons, and radiologists; facilitate cytologic-histologic correlation for thyroid diseases; facilitate research into the understanding of thyroid diseases; and allow easy and reliable sharing of data from different laboratories for national and international collaborative studies.
Background: The rapidly rising incidence of papillary thyroid cancer may be due to overdiagnosis of a reservoir of subclinical disease. To conclude that overdiagnosis is occurring, evidence for an association between access to health care and the incidence of cancer is necessary. Methods: We used Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data to examine U.S. papillary thyroid cancer incidence trends in Medicare-age and non–Medicare-age cohorts over three decades. We performed an ecologic analysis across 497 U.S. counties, examining the association of nine county-level socioeconomic markers of health care access and the incidence of papillary thyroid cancer. Results: Papillary thyroid cancer incidence is rising most rapidly in Americans over age 65 years (annual percentage change, 8.8%), who have broad health insurance coverage through Medicare. Among those under 65, in whom health insurance coverage is not universal, the rate of increase has been slower (annual percentage change, 6.4%). Over three decades, the mortality rate from thyroid cancer has not changed. Across U.S. counties, incidence ranged widely, from 0 to 29.7 per 100,000. County papillary thyroid cancer incidence was significantly correlated with all nine sociodemographic markers of health care access: it was positively correlated with rates of college education, white-collar employment, and family income; and negatively correlated with the percentage of residents who were uninsured, in poverty, unemployed, of nonwhite ethnicity, non-English speaking, and lacking high school education. Conclusion: Markers for higher levels of health care access, both sociodemographic and age-based, are associated with higher papillary thyroid cancer incidence rates. More papillary thyroid cancers are diagnosed among populations with wider access to healthcare. Despite the threefold increase in incidence over three decades, the mortality rate remains unchanged. Together with the large subclinical reservoir of occult papillary thyroid cancers, these data provide supportive evidence for the widespread overdiagnosis of this entity.