Predictors of the need for an extracervical approach to intrathoracic goitre

Tikka, T. and Nixon, I. J. and Harrison-Phipps, K. and Simo, R. (2019) Predictors of the need for an extracervical approach to intrathoracic goitre. BMJ open, 3 (2). pp. 174-179. ISSN 2044-6055 (

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Background: Sternotomy and lateral thoracotomy are required infrequently to remove an intrathoracic goitre (ITG). As few studies have explored the need for an extracervical approach (ECA), the aim of this study was to examine this in a large cohort of patients. Methods: A prospective database of all patients who had surgery for ITG between 2004 and 2016 was interrogated. Patient demographics, preoperative characteristics and type of operation were analysed to identify factors associated with an ECA. Results: Of 237 patients who had surgery for ITG, 29 (12·2 per cent) required an ECA. ITGs below the aortic arch (odds ratio (OR) 10·84; P = 0·004), those with an iceberg shape (OR 59·30; P < 0·001) and revisional surgery (OR 4·83; P = 0·022) were significant preoperative predictors of an ECA. Conclusion: The extent of intrathoracic extension in relation to the aortic arch, iceberg goitre shape and revisional surgery were independent risk factors for ECA. Careful preoperative assessment should take these factors into consideration when determining the optimal surgical approach to ITG.