Population-Based Outcomes for Pediatric Thyroid Carcinoma


  • Nina L. Shapiro MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Head and Neck Surgery, University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
    • Nina L. Shapiro, MD, 62–158 CHS, 10833 LeConte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, U.S.A.
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  • Neil Bhattacharyya MD

    1. Division of Otolaryngology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
    2. Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
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  • Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Phoenix, AZ, May 2, 2004.


Objectives/Hypothesis: The objective was to determine clinical features and clinical outcomes for pediatric thyroid carcinoma.

Study Design: Cross-sectional analysis of national cancer database.

Methods: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (1988–2000) was surveyed, extracting all cases of pediatric thyroid carcinoma. Clinical features including age, gender, tumor type, tumor size, nodal disease, treatment modality, and survival variables were retrieved. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was conducted to determine actuarial survival according to histological type. Cox regression analysis was conducted to determine prognostic factors affecting survival in pediatric carcinoma.

Results: In all, 566 cases of thyroid carcinoma were extracted for the time period. Mean patient age at presentation was 16.0 years, with a female predominance (84.8%). There were 378 cases of papillary carcinoma, 137 cases of follicular variant of papillary carcinoma, and 51 cases of follicular carcinoma. The average tumor size was 2.6 cm, and 37.1% of patients presented with positive nodal disease. Overall survival was excellent with mean survivals greater than 145 months for each histological type. Follicular carcinoma exhibited a slightly poorer survival that was statistically significant (P = .017)

Conclusion: Pediatric thyroid carcinoma primarily affects girls. Clinical features of tumor presentation are similar to those of adults with thyroid carcinoma. However, overall survival for pediatric thyroid carcinoma is excellent, with few patients dying of disease.