A study of association between serum thyroid stimulating hormone concentration and thyroid cancer and also to assess whether serum thyroid stimulating hormone levels are of value in predicting malignancy in patients with thyroid swelling


  • Benny Bright Department of Surgery, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
  • Joe Mathew Department of Surgery, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
  • Jacob P. Thomas Department of Surgery, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India
  • Robinson George Department of Surgery, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences and Research Centre, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India




TSH, Multinodular goiter, Fine needle aspiration


Background: Thyroid neoplasm includes both benign and malignant tumors arising in the thyroid gland. Although thyroid cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancers, the challenge to clinicians is to identify the minority of thyroid nodules that harbor malignancy. There are a number of well-established predictors of malignancy in thyroid nodules. More recently a few studies have suggested that higher concentration of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), even within the normal range are associated with subsequent diagnosis of thyroid cancer in patients with thyroid nodules and even higher serum TSH levels have been found associated with advanced stages of thyroid cancer. 

Methods: A prospective study was conducted on 220 cases without overt thyroid dysfunction attending Department of general surgery, Pushpagiri institute of medical science, Thiruvalla.  

Results: In our study incidence of malignancy of thyroid carcinoma was highest in patients with serum TSH concentrations, in range of 3.5 mIU/l-5.25 mIU/l, 55 patients out of 220 patients. Individually, incidence of papillary carcinoma (PC) (36/55 patients), follicular carcinoma (FC) (17/55 patients) and Hurthle cell carcinoma (HCC) (2/55 patients) were more in patients with higher TSH. So, from the study it can be clearly state that elevated TSH can be used as an independent predictor of thyroid malignancy. Higher TSH values are associated with papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Conclusions: An elevated TSH can be used as an independent predictor of thyroid malignancy, especially for anticipating a probability of papillary carcinoma of thyroid.  


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Original Research Articles