Predicting the factors associated with central lymph node metastasis in clinical node-negative (cN0) papillary thyroid microcarcinoma

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The aim of the present study was to investigate the risk factors associated with central lymph node metastasis (CLNM) in papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC).


A total of 553 patients with PTMC confirmed by histological examination, who underwent thyroidectomy and central neck dissection (CND), were enrolled. The clinicopathological and ultrasonographic features from the patients were analyzed retrospectively.


PTMC patient age, Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT), tumor location, extrathyroidal extension (ETE), microcalcification and higher E values were correlated with the incidence of CLNM. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that age, HT, tumor location, ETE and Emax were related to the extent of CLNM. Chi-squared automatic interaction detection (CHAID) classification tree model showed that patients with tumor in upper/lower third combined ETE had a high risk of CLNM. Furthermore, cN0 PTMC patients with age ≤ 45 years and ETE had more extensive CLNM.


Our observations could be helpful for the assessment of prognostic factors of PTMC patients with CLNM.

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Correspondence to Wen Cheng.

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Zhang, C., Li, B., Liu, Z. et al. Predicting the factors associated with central lymph node metastasis in clinical node-negative (cN0) papillary thyroid microcarcinoma. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol (2020) doi:10.1007/s00405-020-05787-1

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  • Thyroid ultrasound
  • Shear wave elastography
  • Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma
  • Central lymph node metastasis