J Korean Thyroid Assoc.  2011 Nov;4(2):80-86.

Preoperative Staging of Well-Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma: Importance of Radiological Imaging

  • 1Center for Thyroid Cancer, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea. jcameron@ncc.re.kr


Staging is the process of determining how much cancer there is in the body and where it is located. Correct staging helps the oncologist to plan a treatment and determine a prognosis. For the surgeon's perspective, planning of surgical treatment is the main concern in preoperative staging. Preoperative staging would be synonym of "preoperative planning" or "preoperative localization" in this context. Extent of primary tumor and lymph node status is the main factor to decide initial surgical treatment of well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas (WDTC). Precise description of lymph node status is also important in the planning of surgery for WDTC. Surgeon performed preoperative ultrasound is highly recommended in the planning of surgery, especially in recurrent cases. There have been debates for what the best imaging modality is in the preoperative staging of WDTC. Surgeon should understand pros and cons of each modality and should communicate with radiologist to decide surgical plan. In this article, we will discuss importance of radiological imaging in preoperative staging of WDTC.


Thyroid neoplasms; Staging; Surgeon

MeSH Terms

Lymph Nodes
Thyroid Gland
Thyroid Neoplasms
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