Thyroid Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Health-Related Quality of Life: RFA Versus Surgery for Papillary Thyroid Microcarcinoma

By: Joshua D. Madera, MS
Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2020

For patients with papillary thyroid microcarcinoma, utilization of ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be a suitable alternative to surgery, according to a study published in Frontiers in Endocrinology. “Our study suggested that ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation offers advantage in terms of health-related quality of life,” explained Yaqiong Zhu, PhD, of The First Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital, China, and colleagues.

A total of 88 patients with papillary thyroid microcarcinoma were enrolled in the study. All patients were recruited from the First Medical Center of Chinese PLA General Hospital. Participants were assigned to one of two treatment groups: group A received radiofrequency ablation (n = 54), and group B underwent surgery (n = 34). Patient’s health-related quality of life was assessed utilizing the Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), the thyroid cancer–specific quality-of-life questionnaire (THYCA-QOL), and the Fear of Progression Questionnaire Short Form (FoP-Q-SF).

The investigators reported a negative linear association between groups A and B for the role of limitation due to physical (coefficient = –22.613) and emotional (coefficient = –21.901) barriers, as well as the physical component summary (coefficient = –8.312), when utilizing the SF-36. In addition, analysis using the THYCA-QOL revealed that patients in the surgery group had higher scores for scarring than those in the radiofrequency ablation group. Moreover, there were no significant differences revealed by the FoP-Q-SF.

“Radiofrequency ablation seems to present fewer complications. In our study, no patients in the radiofrequency ablation group reported any complications,” commented Dr. Zhu and colleagues.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of the study authors, visit


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