Baseline Stimulated Thyroglobulin Level as a Good Predictor of Successful Ablation after Adjuvant Radioiodine Treatment for Differentiated Thyroid Cancers


Background: To determine the predictive value of the baseline stimulated thyroglobulin (STg) level for ablation outcome in patients undergoing adjuvant remnant radioiodine ablation (RRA) for differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC). Materials and
Methods: This retrospective study accrued 64 patients (23 male and 41 female; mean age of 40±14 years) who had total thyroidectomy followed by RRA for DTC from January 2012 till April 2014. Patients with positive anti-Tg antibodies and distant metastasis on post-ablative whole body iodine scans(TWBIS) were excluded. Baseline STg was used to predict successful ablation (follow-up STg <2 ng/ml, negative diagnostic WBIS and negative ultrasound neck) at 7-12 months follow-up.
Results: Overall, successful ablation was noted in 37 (58%) patients while ablation failed in 27 (42%). Using the ROC curve, a cut-off level of baseline STg level of ≤14.5 ng/ml was found to be most sensitive and specific for predicting successful ablation. Successful ablation was thus noted in 25/28 (89%) of patients with baseline STg ≤ 14.5 ng/ml and 12/36 (33%) patients with baseline STg >14.5 ng/ml ((p value <0.05). Age >40 years, female gender, PTS >2 cm, papillary histopathology, positive cervical nodes and positive TWBIS were significant predictors of ablation failure.
Conclusions: We conclude that in patients with total thyroidectomy followed by I-131 ablation for DTC, the baseline STg level is a good predictor of successful ablation based on a stringent triple negative criteria (i.e. follow-up STg < 2 ng/ ml, a negative DWBIS and a negative US neck).