FTC: postoperative ultrasound may be unnecessary

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  • Patients with follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) show a low 5-y recurrence rate (3.2%) after surgery, with no cases identified on routine follow-up ultrasonography (US).

Why this matters

  • The benefits of postoperative surveillance of FTC are unclear.

Key results

  • 3.2% of patients experienced tumor recurrence during a 5-y follow-up period.
  • 0% of patients showed initial suspicion of recurrence on routine follow-up US.
  • Recurrent patients had longer mean interval between thyroid surgery and last follow-up US compared with nonrecurrent patients (94.5 vs 75.2 mo; P=.012).
  • Recurrent patients had tumors with more advanced N (P=.006) and M (P=.038) stage compared with nonrecurrent patients.

Study design

  • 186 patients with FTC underwent postoperative US and were analyzed for recurrence risk.
  • Funding: None.


  • Retrospective study design.
  • Heterogeneity in surveillance procedures.