Do extremely large goiters carry a higher risk of malignancy or complications? A case control study

Chen Hazout, Aviv Daniel, Oren Ziv, Uri Yoel, David Kiderman, Rami Shukrun, Oded Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The definition of thyroid goiter remains ambiguous, yet size may impact both malignancy rate and surgical complications' rate. Methods: All patients with thyroid goiter who underwent thyroidectomy between 1/2015–1/2023 were included. Goiter was defined as lobe ≥4 cm. For analysis purpose, goiters measuring 4–8 cm and ≥8 cm were defined as large and extremely large goiters, respectively. For malignancy definition, tumor<1 cm in their largest diameter were excluded from study. Collected data included demographics, cytology, histology and postoperative complication. Results: 144 goiters from 111 patients were included. The most common indication for surgery was symptoms (55 %). Compared with large goiter, extremely large goiters demonstrated a trend for tracheal narrowing on pre-operative CT findings (23 % vs. 45 %, p = 0.07 respectively). Overall differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) rate was 17 % (25/144) without statistical difference between groups (p = 0.89). Within goiters with pre-operative benign cytology, the DTC rate was 17 % (7/43). Follicular variant of papillary thyroid cancer was the most common type for both groups. Nodular hyperplasia was significantly associated with extremely large goiters (53 % vs. 73 %, p = 0.03). No significant difference was found in transient hypocalcemia (48 % [15/31] vs. 41 % [5/12], p = 0.6) and other complications' rate between extremely large goiters and the control group. Conclusion: When discussing management options for patients with goiters, the size of the goiter should not regarded as a higher risk for complications or malignancy, yet the relatively high malignancy rate found should be taken under consideration for resection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104283
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2024
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier Inc.


  • Goiter
  • Thyroid
  • Thyroidectomy
  • cancer


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