The sonographic pattern of neck lymph nodes in chronic autoimmune thyroiditis.

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Background: Neck lymph nodes may be involved in the pathogenesis of chronicautoimmune thyroiditis (CAT).We hypothesized that the involvement of cervical lymphnodes in CAT may be associated with a different sonographic pattern of neck nodes incomparison to subjects without CAT.Methods: We included 106 patients (92 females and 14 males) with CAT and 70 controlsubjects (53 females andm17 males) without clinical, biochemical, and ultrasonographicevidence of thyroid and neck diseases. We performed laboratory tests (thyrotropin,antithyroperoxidase antibodies, antithyroglobulin antibodies, and ultrasonography) toevaluate in each group: (i) thyroid function, autoimmunity, and morphology; (ii) number,topographic distribution (levels I–VI), and morphology of neck nodes (long-axis diameter;short-axis diameter; short-axis/long-axis ratio; absence or presence of hilus).Results: Total number of neck nodes with long-axis diameter > 10 mm was significantlyhigher in the CAT group than in the control group (mean ± standard deviation [SD]: 3.7 ±2.4 vs. 0.8 ± 1.3; p < 0.001) and we found also an increased number of neck nodesin levels II (1.4 ± 0.8 vs. 0.3 ± 0.5; p < 0.001), III (2 ± 1.2 vs. 0.3 ± 0.7; p < 0.001), and IV(0.7 ± 0.7 vs. 0.07 ± 0.2; p < 0.001). Moreover, we found more nodes with a hilus in theCAT group than in the control group (mean number of nodes ± SD: 2.8 ± 1.9 vs. 0.7 ± 1.1;p < 0.001). Short-axis diameter of level III (4.4 ± 1 vs. 3.7 ± 1.2 mm; p = 0.002) and levelIV nodes (3.9 ± 1 vs. 3.1 ± 0.5 mm; p = 0.030) was increased in CAT patients whencompared with healthy controls.Conclusions: The present study is the first one aiming at a systematic description of thesonographic pattern of cervical lymph nodes in CAT. An increased number of benignhyperplastic neck nodes, especially in levels II–IV, appears to be a characteristicsonographic finding associated with CAT.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


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