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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Diabetes and Endocrinology - Physics - Public Health and Epidemiology - Radiology and Medical Imaging - Science Policy

Prognosis of Thyroid Nodules in Individuals Living in the Zhitomir Region of Ukraine
Published: Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Author: Naomi Hayashida et al.

by Naomi Hayashida, Yui Sekitani, Jumpei Takahashi, Alexander A. Kozlovsky, Oleksandr K. Gutevych, Aleksey S. Saiko, Nina V. Nirova, Anjela A. Petrova, Ruslan M. Rafalskiy, Sergey A. Chorny, Valery V. Daniliuk, Masanobu Anami, Shunichi Yamashita, Noboru Takamura


After the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP), the incidence of thyroid cancer increased among children. Recently, a strong relationship between solid thyroid nodules and the incidence of thyroid cancer was shown in atomic bomb survivors. To assess the prognosis of benign thyroid nodules in individuals living in the Zhitomir region of Ukraine, around the CNPP, we conducted a follow-up investigation of screening data from 1991 to 2000 in the Ukraine.

Patients and Methods

Participants of this study were 160 inhabitants with thyroid nodules (nodule group) and 160 inhabitants without thyroid nodules (normal control group) intially identified by ultrasonography from 1991 to 2000. All participants were aged 0 to 10 years old and lived in the same area at the time of the accident. We performed follow-up screening of participants and assessed thyroid nodules by fine needle aspiration biopsy.


Among the nodule group participants, the number and size of nodules were significantly increased at the follow-up screening compared with the initial screening. No thyroid nodules were observed among the normal control group participants. The prevalence of thyroid abnormality, especially nodules that could be cancerous (malignant or suspicious by fine needle aspiration biopsy), was 7.5% in the nodule group and 0% in the normal control group (P<0.001).


Our study indicated that a thyroid nodule in childhood is a prognostic factor associated with an increase in the number and size of nodules in individuals living in the Zhitomir region of Ukraine.