A Meta-analysis of the Effect of Prophylactic Central Compartment Neck Dissection on Locoregional Recurrence Rates in Patients with Papillary Thyroid Cancer
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BACKGROUND: It is not known whether prophylactic central compartment neck dissection (pCCND) in conjunction with total thyroidectomy decreases rates of locoregional recurrence in patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). METHODS: A meta-analysis was performed of reported recurrence rates of clinically node-negative PTC in patients treated with total thyroidectomy (TT) alone, or TT and pCCND. The primary outcome was locoregional recurrence of PTC. RESULTS: Eleven studies capturing 2,318 patients met the inclusion criteria. Overall, the recurrence rate for patients undergoing TT/pCCND was 3.8 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 2.3-5.8]. In the six comparative studies, which included 1,740 patients, 995 patients undergoing TT and 745 patients undergoing TT/pCCND, the overall recurrence rate was 7.6:7.9 % in the TT group and 4.7 % in the TT/pCCND group. The relative risk of recurrence was 0.59 (95 % CI 0.33-1.07), favoring a lower recurrence rate in the TT/pCCND arm. The number of patients that would need to be treated (NNT) in order to prevent a single recurrence is 31. The relative risk for permanent hypocalcemia was 1.82 (95 % CI 0.51-6.5) and for permanent recurrent laryngeal nerve injury was 1.14 (95 % CI 0.46-2.83). CONCLUSIONS: There was no difference in recurrence or long-term complication rates between patients undergoing TT or TT/pCCND. There was a trend toward lower recurrence rates in TT/pCCND patients, with a NNT of 31 patients. On the basis of these data, routine pCCND might be considered in the hands of high-volume surgeons treating patients with clinically node-negative PTC.
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