Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


Ultrasound examinations for the follow-up of 41 patients with histologically proven medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) were done regularly at three- to six-month intervals. In patients with elevated serum calcitonin (CT) levels, other localization methods such as computed tomography, selective venous catheterization with measurement of CT levels, and fine-needle aspiration were performed. Thirty-four tumor recurrences in the neck were suspected by ultrasound examination in 23 patients with postoperatively elevated CT levels. The smallest occult MTC nodule had a diameter of 8 mm. One nodule was hyperechogenic with hypoechoic lesions, one was isoechoic with a halo, and all others were hypoechoic. Seventeen of 21 results of computed tomography, nine of 12 fine-needle biopsies, and nine of 16 selective venous catheterizations correlated with the ultrasound findings. Tumor tissue suspected by ultrasound was histologically proven in 25 of 29 cases. In comparison with other localization methods, ultrasound is the most practicable and reliable method for identification of MTC tissue in the neck.