Original Research

Hypothyroidism in Carcinoma of the Tongue with Adjuvant Treatment

Sabita Kumari, Jonathan Gondi, Hemantkumar Nemade, L.M. Chandra Sekhara Rao, Deleep Gudipudi, and T. Subramanyeshwar Rao


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of hypothyroidism with adjuvant treatment in oral tongue carcinoma patients treated primarily with surgery. Materials and methods: A retrospective review was carried out to analyze hypothyroidism incidence and its relation to adjuvant treatment (radiation/radio-chemotherapy) in oral tongue carcinoma after the primary surgical ablation and neck dissection. Hypothyroidism was analyzed in relation with dose of radiation, gender, and adjuvant treatment modality. Results: The study analyzed the patients who were treated between January 2012 and June 2015. Among 705 patients with carcinoma of the tongue treated primarily with wide local excision and neck dissection, 383 received adjuvant treatment. A total of 215 patients received radiation, and 168 received concurrent radio-chemotherapy. Of 378 patients, 78 developed hypothyroidism during follow-up: 27 patients received concurrent radio-chemotherapy, and the remaining 51 received only radiation. Lower neck received 40–48 Gy in 2 patients, 50 Gy in 74 patients, and 60–70 Gy and concurrent radio-chemotherapy in 27 patients. Median follow-up was 32 months. Hypothyroidism occurred in 21.5% of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue. The minimum period to develop hypothyroidism was 3 months in this study. Gender and adjuvant treatment were not found to be significant for the incidence of hypothyroidism. Conclusions: A significant number of patients with carcinoma of the tongue who receive adjuvant treatment will develop hypothyroidism, hence frequent monitoring of thyroid function is advised during follow-up.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2017;8(3):e0031