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1.  Quality of Scar after Total Thyroidectomy: A Single Blinded Randomized Trial Comparing Octyl-Cyanoacrylate and Subcuticular Absorbable Suture 
ISRN Surgery  2013;2013:270953.
Objective. To compare the quality of resulting scar at 6 weeks after total thyroidectomy with the use of the tissue adhesive octyl-cyanoacrylate or subcuticular absorbable suture for the closure of cervicotomy. Material and Methods. There are 50 patients undergoing a cervicotomy for total thyroidectomy. Twenty-five patients were randomly assigned to closure with tissue adhesive and 25 with subcuticular absorbable suture. At week 6 the scar was evaluated by blinded assessors with the Italian version of POSAS questionnaire, a validated wound scale composed of an observer's and a patient's subscale. Results. Assessment of scar appearance showed a statistically significant difference (p = 0. 038) in favor of subcuticular suture with respect to tissue adhesive on observer's assessment. The difference on patients' self-assessment was not significant. A multivariate analysis of six qualitative features of scars showed a significant influence on assessment for hyperpigmentation and relief of scar. The Italian version of POSAS proved to be reliable. Conclusion. Though tissue adhesive represents a valid method of skin closure, subcuticular absorbable suture provides a better aesthetic outcome in small cervical incisions in the early phase after thyroid surgery.
doi:10.1155/2013/270953
PMCID: PMC3845629  PMID: 24324898
2.  Q-Elastography in the Presurgical Diagnosis of Thyroid Nodules with Indeterminate Cytology 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e50725.
Quantitative ultrasound (US) elastography (Q-USE), able to evaluate tissue stiffness has been indicated as a new diagnostic tool to differentiate benign from malignant thyroid lesions. Aim of this prospective study, conducted at the Department of Surgical Sciences, of the “Sapienza” University of Rome, was to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of Q-USE, compared with US parameters, in thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytology (Thy3).The case study included 140 nodules from 140 consecutive patients. Patient’s thyroid nodules were evaluated by Q-USE, measuring the strain ratio (SR) of stiffness between nodular and surrounding normal thyroid tissue, and conventional US parameters prior fine-needle aspiration cytology. Those with Thy3 diagnosis were included in the study. Forty of the nodules analyzed harbored a malignant lesion. Q-USE demonstrated that malignant nodules have a significant higher stiffness with respect to benign one and an optimun SR cut-off value of 2.05 was individuated following ROC analysis. Univariate analysis showed that hypoechogenicity, irregular margins and SR >2.05 associated with malignancy, with an accuracy of 67.2%, 81,0% and 89.8%, respectively. Data were unaffected by nodule size or thyroiditis. These findings were confirmed in multivariate analysis demonstrating a significant association of the SR and the irregular margins with thyroid nodule’s malignancy. In conclusion, we demonstrated the diagnostic utility of Q-USE in the differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytology that, if confirmed, could be of major clinical utility in patients’ presurgical selection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050725
PMCID: PMC3510167  PMID: 23209819
3.  Factors influencing the length of the incision and the operating time for total thyroidectomy 
BMC Surgery  2012;12:15.
Background
The incision used for thyroid surgery has become shorter over time, from the classical 10 cm long Kocher incision to the shortest 15 mm access achieved with Minimally Invasive Video-Assisted Thyroidectomy. This rather large interval encompasses many different possible technical choices, even if we just consider open surgery.
The aim of the study was to assess the correlation between incision length and operation duration with a set of biometric and clinical factors and establish a rationale for the decision on the length of incision in open surgery.
Methods
Ninety-seven consecutive patients scheduled for total thyroidectomy were prospectively evaluated. All operations were performed by the same team and the surgeon decided the length of the incision according to his personal judgement. Patients who had previously undergone neck surgery were excluded.
Results
The length of the incision was strongly correlated with gender, thyroid volume, neck circumference and clinical diagnosis and weakly correlated with the body mass index. Operation duration was only weakly correlated with gender and neck circumference. Multiple linear regression revealed that the set of factors assessed explained almost 60 % of the variance in incision length but only 20 % of the variance in operation duration. When patients were classified according to the distribution of their thyroid volume, cases within one standard deviation of the mean did not show a significant difference in terms of operation duration with incisions of various lengths.
Conclusions
Although thyroid volume was a major factor in driving the decision with respect to the length of the incision, our study shows that it had only minor effect on the duration of the operation. Many more open thyroidectomies could therefore be safely performed with shorter incisions, especially in women. Duration of the operation is probably more closely linked to the inherent technical difficulty of each case.
doi:10.1186/1471-2482-12-15
PMCID: PMC3447649  PMID: 22849398
4.  Nulliparity enhances the risk of second primary malignancy of the breast in a cohort of women treated for thyroid cancer 
Background
Many studies have reported an increased risk of developing a second primary malignancy (SPM) of the breast in women treated for thyroid cancer. In this study, we investigated several potential risk factors for this association. The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to identify a subgroup of women surgically treated for papillary thyroid cancer that may benefit from more careful breast cancer screening.
Methods
A total of 101 women surgically treated for papillary thyroid cancer from 1996 to 2009 with subsequent follow-up were interviewed by phone regarding personal risk factors and lifestyle habits. Only 75 questionnaires could be evaluated due to a 25.7% rate of patients not retrieved or refusing the interview. Data analysis was performed using a multivariate logistic model.
Results
The standardised incidence ratio (SIR) for breast cancer was 3.58 (95% IC 1.14 - 8.37). Our data suggest a protective effect of multiparity on the development of a SPM of the breast (O.R. 0.15; 95% IC 0.25 - 0.86). Significant associations were not found with other known risk factors including Body Mass Index (BMI), age at first tumour, concurrent metabolic diseases, smoking, physical activity and familiarity.
Conclusions
This study confirms that a higher incidence of SPM of the breast is observed in women treated for papillary thyroid cancer. Additionally, this risk is increased by nulliparity, thus a strict breast screening program for nulliparous women treated for thyroid cancer may be advisable.
doi:10.1186/1477-7819-9-88
PMCID: PMC3174118  PMID: 21835042
thyroid cancer; breast cancer; second primary malignancy; risk factor

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