Treatment of solid nodules of the thyroid gland using laser-induced thermotherapy
Background. Indications and contraindications, methods and technologies of implementation, increased efficiency and improved long-term results are the unresolved issues when using laser-induced interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) in the treatment of solid thyroid nodules. Рurpose: to study the effect of LITT on parathyroid tissue and functional capacity of the thyroid gland, to determine the factors affecting the time of replacement by connective tissue and its volume; to develop indications to repeated thermotherapy. Materials and methods. Using the LITT we treated 272 patients with a nodular goiter with no signs of cystic degeneration. All patients — women aged 22 to 68 years. The size of nodules was within the range of 0.8 to 5.0 cm3. In terms of ultrasonic characteristics, in particular echoicity, the nodules were as follows: 46 — hypoechoic, 189 — isoechoic and 37 — hyperechoic. We used a diode laser Lakhta-Milon. LITT was performed on such parameters: the wave length 1060 nm, continuous operation, output power ranging from 2.5 to 3.2 W. LITT was controlled by ultrasound. Changes in the nodule, parathyroid tissue and gland function after LITT was determined on day 2, as well as 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after the procedure. Results. An aseptic inflammation occurred on the second day after laser thermotherapy in nodules, and their size increased by 25–30 %. Later, in a certain period of the survey, the size of nodules decreased, rates of hormonal function did not change. Six months after the LITT, with nodule size up to 2 cm3, a complete replacement by connective tissue occurred in all cases of hypo- and isoechoic nodules and in 71 % — of hyperechoic, and with sizes from 2 to 5 cm3 — in 75 % of hypoechoic structures, 18 % of isoechoic, and there was no beneficial effect in hyperechoic nodules. If the treatment failed, repeated LITT was required, after which all patients had complete reduction of the nodule. Conclusions. In the developed modes, the LITT did not cause destructive changes in parathyroid tissue and hormonal gland function. Duration of regression and replacement of the nodule by connective tissue is determined by its echogenicity and size. The residual tissue in the nodule within more than 42 % of the initial size in six months after the treatment and the presence of thyroid epithelium in it are the indications for re-use of thermotherapy.
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