Logo Logo
Switch Language to German
Wenter, Vera; Albert, Nathalie L.; Unterrainer, Marcus; Ahmaddy, Freba; Ilhan, Harun; Jellinek, Annamirl; Knösel, Thomas; Bartenstein, Peter; Spitzweg, Christine; Lehner, Sebastian; Todica, Andrei (2020): Clinical impact of follicular oncocytic (Hürthle cell) carcinoma in comparison with corresponding classical follicular thyroid carcinoma. In: European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging
Creative Commons Attribution 1MB


PURPOSE There are controversial debates if patients with Hürthle cell carcinoma, also known as oxyphilic or oncocytic cell follicular thyroid carcinoma, have a poorer outcome. In this study, we systematically evaluated the clinical outcome in a large patient cohort following thyroidectomy and initial I-131 radioactive iodine therapy (RIT). METHODS We retrospectively evaluated a total of 378 patients with diagnosed oncocytic follicular Hürthle cell carcinoma (OFTC) (N = 126) or with classical follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) (N = 252). Patients received thyroidectomy and complementary I-131 RIT. Clinical data regarding basic demographic characteristics, tumor grade, persistent disease and recurrence during follow-up, and disease-free, disease-specific, and overall survival were collected during follow-up of 6.9 years (interquartile range 3.7; 11.7 years). Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to identify factors associated with disease-related and overall survival. RESULTS Before and after matching for risk factors, recurrence was significantly more frequently diagnosed in OFTC patients during follow-up (17% vs. 8%; p value 0.037). Likewise, OFTC patients presented with a reduced mean disease-free survival of 17.9 years (95% CI 16.0-19.8) vs. 20.1 years (95% CI 19.0-21.1) in FTC patients (p value 0.027). Multivariate analysis revealed OFTC (HR 0.502; 95% CI 0.309-0.816) as the only independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival. Distant metastases of OFTC patients were significantly less iodine-avid (p value 0.014). Mean disease-specific and overall survival did not differ significantly (p value 0.671 and 0.687) during follow-up of median 6.9 years (3.7; 11.7 years). CONCLUSIONS Our study suggests that recurrence is more often seen in OFTC patients. OFTC patients have a poorer prognosis for disease-free survival. Thus, OFTC and FTC behave differently and should be categorized separately. However, patients suffering from OFTC present with the same overall and disease-specific survival at the end of follow-up indifferent to FTC patients after initial RIT.