We reviewed 188 cases of Hürthle cell tumor of the thyroid (HCT) between 1982 and 1996. There were 160 women and 28 men with a mean age of 51.8 years. Thirty-one of the patients had cancer, and the others had adenoma. Age, size of the primary tumor, and preoperative thyroglobulin level were not significantly different in the cancer and adenoma patients. The gender ratio, however, was significantly different (p < 0.05). Recurrent HCT was observed in three patients with adenoma. Two patients had subcutaneous recurrence (suspected implantation), and the other patient had recurrence in the residual thyroid gland. All patients with recurrence of adenoma underwent partial lobectomy at the initial operation. Three cancer patients had recurrent disease. Locoregional recurrence was observed in one patient and distant metastases in two patients (lung in one, lung and bone in one). One of the patients with distant metastasis died from the disease, and the other is alive with the disease. Tumor implantation was observed in patients with adenoma, so intraoperative handling of the tumor requires care. It also means that this tumor, even though benign, is aggressive in terms of proliferative activity. All patients with Hürthle cell tumor should be treated by total lobectomy at least. The outcome of the cancer patients was not as poor as in previous reports.
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