Differentiated thyroid cancer in childhood: Pathology, diagnosis, therapy

Christoph Reiners*, Yuri E. Demidchik, J. Kohrle, C. Reiners*, Z. Laron, R. Bundok, E. Bober, J. Sack, N. Saka, C. Graziano, Z. Kraiem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The incidence of thyroid cancer in childhood amounts to approximately 0,5/100.000/year. However, after exposure to ionizing irradiation, the incidence may increase more than 20 fold. In children, lymph node metastases of differentiated thyroid cancer are frequent (more than 50%); distant metastases mainly to the lung are seen in 20-30%. The method of choice for the primary diagnosis of thyroid cancer today is ultrasonography with 7,5 - 10 MHz probes, accompanied by fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Differentiated thyroid cancer has to be treated with a multidisciplinary approach comprising total thyroidectomy and lymph node dissection, post-operative radioiodine treatment and TSH-suppression by levothyroxine. The long-term results of this treatment approach are generally good with 10-year survival rates of 95% and higher. The treatment of children with disseminated pulmonary metastases however, may be complicated due to the increased risk of the induction of pulmonary fibrosis by radioiodine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-236
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Endocrinology Reviews
Issue numberSUPLL. 2
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Childhood and adolescence
  • Differentiated thyroid cancer
  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy
  • Radiation induction
  • Radioiodine therapy
  • Surgery
  • Ultrasound diagnosis


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