| Home | E-Submission | Sitemap | Contact Us |  
J Korean Soc Ther Radiol > Volume 15(3); 1997 > Article
Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology 1997;15(3): 225-232.
Hypothyroidism Following Surgery and Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer
In Kyu Park, Jae Cheol Kim
Department of Radiation Oncology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Taegu, Korea.
Radiation therapy in combination with surgery has an important role in the therapy of the head and neck cancer. We conducted a prospective study for patients with head and neck cancer treated with surgery and radiation to evaluate the effect of therapies on the thyroid gland, and to identify the factors that might influence the development of hypothyroidism.
From September 1986 through December 1994, 71 patients with head and cancer treated with surgery and radiation were included in this prospective study. Patients' age ranged from 32 to 73 years with a median age of 58 years. There were 12 women and 59 men. The primary tumor sites were larynx in 34 patients, hypopharynx in 13 patients, oral cavity in 12 patients, unknown primary of the neck in 6 patients, salivary gland in 3 patients, maxillary sinus in 2 patients, and oropharynx in 1 patient. Total laryngectomy with neck dissection was carried out in 45 patients and neck dissection alone in 26 patients. All patients were serially monitored for thyroid function (T3, T4, free T4, TSH, antithyroglobulin antibody and antimicrosomal antibody) before and after radiation therapy. Radiation dose to the thyroid gland ranged from 40.6Gy to 60Gy with a median dose of 50Gy. The follow-up duration was 3 to 80 months.
The overall incidence of hypothyroidism was 56.3% (40/71); 7 out of 71 patients (9.9%) developed clinical hypothyroidism and 33 patients (46.4%) developed subclinical hypothyroidism. No thyroid nodules, thyroid cancers, or hyperthyroidism was detected. Hypothyroidism developed earlier in patients who underwent total laryngectomy with neck dissection than in patients with neck dissection alone (P<0.05). The risk factor that significantly influenced the incidence of hypothyroidism was a combination of surgery (total laryngectomy with neck dissection) and radiation therapy (P= 0.0000). Four of 26 patients (15.4%) with neck dissection alone developed hypothyroidism while 36 of 45 patients (80%) with laryngectomy and neck dissection developed hypothyroidism.
The hypothyroidism following surgery and radiation therapy was a relatively common complication. The factor that significantly influenced the incidence of hypothyroidism was combination of surgery and radiation therapy. Evaluation of thyroid function before and after radiation therapy with periodic thyroid function tests is recommended for an early detection of hypothyroidism and thyroid hormone replacement therapy is recommended whenever hypothyroidism develops.
Key Words: Head and neck cancer, Surgery, Radiation therapy, Hypothyroidism
Editorial Office
Department of Radiation Oncology, Samsung Medical Center,
Proton Therapy Center, B2, 81, Irwon-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 06351, Republic of Korea
Tel : +82-2-3410-3617
E-mail: rojeditor@gmail.com, roj@kosro.or.kr
Copyright © The Korean Society for Radiation Oncology.                      Developed in M2PI
Close layer
prev next