Treatment decisions and adherence to guidelines in the treatment of low risk papillary carcinoma of the thyroid

Ohad Hilly, Sagit Stern-Shavit, Shimon Ilan, Raphael Feinmesser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Treatment guidelines for well-differentiated papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) are based on retrospective studies and vary among professional thyroid associations.

Objectives: To evaluate physician adherence to guidelines, overall and by specialty.

Methods: Questionnaires on the approach to low risk PTC were distributed among 51 surgeons and endocrinologists treating patients with PTC in tertiary medical centers.

Results: A wide range of answers was recorded among physicians regarding the danger posed by low risk PTC to the patient’s life, urgency with which treatment should be administered, type of treatment, and risks associated with this treatment. There was a significant between-group difference in treatment preference: endocrinologists chose total thyroidectomy with radioactive iodine, while surgeons favored hemithyroidectomy alone.

Conclusions: There is a wide difference in treatment recommendations between treating physicians and different specialties with regard to low risk PTC. The wide variation within and between specialties may be explained by biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-552
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Guidelines
  • Hemithyroidectomy
  • Radioactive iodine
  • Thyroid carcinoma
  • Thyroidectomy


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