n SA Journal of Radiology - CT scanning may adversely influence choice of surgery in paediatric papillary thyroid carcinoma - a note of caution : case report

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1027-202X
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6778



Papillary thyroid carcinoma may be multifocal in up to 50% of affected children. Surgeons must weigh the higher risks of recurrence when surgical resection is less than subtotal thyroidectomy against the higher risks of complications with subtotal / total thyroidectomy. An 11-year-old girl presented to our surgical department with a thyroid mass. Computed tomography (CT) revealed a lesion, missed by ultrasonography, which reversed the decision to perform conservative thyroid surgery. The lesion proved to be non-neoplastic. CT may be a useful adjunct when ultrasound demonstrates a solitary lesion and conservative surgery is considered, and may prove to be able to distinguish neoplastic from non-neoplastic lesions based on contrast enhancement characteristics, but caution is advised in assuming that all nodules are neoplastic.

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