Vol 72, No 2 (2021)
Original paper
Published online: 2020-12-16

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Microwave ablation of autonomously functioning thyroid nodules: a comparative study with radioactive iodine therapy on the functional treatment success

Mehmet Sercan Ertürk12, Bulent Cekic3, Mehmet Celik4, Isil Demiray Uguz3
Pubmed: 33619707
Endokrynol Pol 2021;72(2):120-125.


Introduction: The objective of this study was to compare the efficiency of microwave ablation (MWA) and radioactive iodine (RAI) in the treatment of toxic adenoma (TA), and to investigate the functional treatment success of the used modalities for its remission.

Material and methods: Treatment outcomes — thyroid hormone levels and nodule characteristics — of 30 patients (23:7 F:M; 52.77 ± 11.13 years) treated by MWA were compared with the those of 35 patients (24:11 F:M; 61.43 ± 12.60 years) treated by RAI. The baseline characteristics of TAs, which are gender and pre volume, were analogous and did not show any statistical significance (p > 0.05). Thyroid hormone levels of patients treated with two different methods were measured after 9 months, and the obtained results were compared.

Results: Although there was no statistically significant difference in the nodule volume (p > 0.05), there was a greater volume reduction rate (VRR%) in the group treated with MWA rather than RAI (p < 0.05) at the end of the follow-up. In the MWA group, there was a higher increase in FT3 than in the RAI group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, no statistically significant difference in TSH (p = 0.124) and FT4 (p = 0.144) levels of the patients as treatment outcomes was observed. The therapeutic success was accomplished in 18/30 (60%) of the MWA group and in 24/35 (68.6%) of the RAI group.

Conclusions: Therapeutic success of MWA and RAI did not show any statistically significant difference (p = 0.471). However, the development of hypothyroidism in 7 of 35 patients treated with RAI was observed. On the other hand, no case of post‐treatment hypothyroidism was observed in patients treated with MWA. In this regard, MWA could be a great alternative to RAI due to its advantages in terms of non-exposure to radiation and lower risk of post-treatment hypothyroidism. 

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