What is included in long-term monitoring of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC)?

Updated: Jun 18, 2020
  • Author: Ponnandai S Somasundar, MD, MPH, FACS; Chief Editor: Neetu Radhakrishnan, MD  more...
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At 6 and 12 months after the cancer treatment (medical or surgical),patients with a history of papillary thyroid carcinoma require follow-up monitoring that includes the following:

  • Complete physical examination
  • Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and thyroglobulin measurement
  • Antithyroglobulin antibodies titer

Continue to evaluate thyroglobulin serum levels every 6-12 months for at least 5 years. Consider a level greater than 20 ng/mL, after TSH suppression, to be abnormal. A rise in the thyroglobulin level is consistent with recurrence of thyroid cancer. A study by Brassard et al found that thyroglobulin measurements allow prediction of long-term recurrence with excellent specificity. TSH stimulation may be avoided when thyroglobulin levels measured 3 months after ablation are less than 0.27 ng/mL during levothyroxine treatment. [61]

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