Occult papillary thyroid carcinoma in postmortem species: Prevalence at autopsy

C. Arturo Solares, Marco A. Penalonzo, Meng Xu, Elizabeth Orellana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of occult papillary thyroid cancer (OPTC) in a sample of cadavers from Guatemala, a country in Central America. Study design and setting: This was a cross-sectional study of cadaver samples. We analyzed 150 glands that were removed during autopsy from 150 cadavers (34 women and 116 men) who were admitted to the morgue of the Judicial Bureau between January and March 2000. Results: A total of 17 glands showed macroscopic evidence of disease, but only 3 glands (1 female and 2 males) showed microscopic evidence of malignancy. This corresponded to a 2% prevalence rate (range, 0.4-5.7%). The sex prevalence of OPTC was 2.9% (range, 0.07-15%) for females and 1.7% (range, 0.2-6.1%) for males. No significant difference was noted (P =. 47, exact unconditional test). The male-to-female ratio was 1:1.7. Conclusion: We concluded that the prevalence of OPTC in Guatemala is low but comparable to literature reports. Occult papillary thyroid carcinoma appears to have no sex predilection as opposed to the clinically evident papillary thyroid carcinoma, which develops more commonly in females. Significance: Occult papillary thyroid carcinoma is a much more common pathology than clinically evident thyroid cancer, and the clinical implications still need to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-90
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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