Introduction: Endemic goitre is a major concern in many nations including Malaysia. Seven states in thecountry have been identified by Ministry of Health of Malaysia to have high incidence of goitre and one of theseis Kelantan.
Methods: This is a retrospective study over an 11-year period from 1994 to 2004 on all thyroidspecimens submitted to the Pathology Department, Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM), in Kelantan.Epidemiological data were retrieved from the patients’ records and pathology findings from the pathologyreports.
Results: During this period, Department of Pathology HUSM received a total of 1,486 thyroid specimens.The female to male ratio was 6:1 and the median age was 40.0 years. The duration of goitre ranged from one to15 years. Histopathological examination showed 71.9 percent were non-neoplastic and 28.1 percent neoplasticlesions. The hospital-based incidence of nodular hyperplasia was 9.9 per 100,000 admitted patients per year.The hospital-based incidence of all types of malignant thyroid cancers was 3.5 per 100,000. The most commonmalignancy was papillary carcinoma (76.6 percent). The majority of the cancers (59.5 percent) occurred in abackground of nodular hyperplasia. Thyroid cancers made up 4.9 percent of all cancers seen in HUSM.
Conclusion: This study suggests that malignant thyroid lesions arising from multi-nodular goitre are high in apopulation living in an iodine-deficiency area.