Retrosternal Goitre: Analysis of 48 Patients

Short Communications


Salah Eltaktuk,Tawfik Abuzaloot, Issa Abuzeid, Saad Taleb, Nasser Elrefai

Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Garyounis University, Benghazi, Libya

JMJ Vol.7, No.3 (Autumn 2007):218-200


Background: retrosternal goitre is defined as any goitre in which at least 50% of the thyroid resides below the level of the thoracic inlet, and it is a common cause of compression of adjacent structures. Aim: To highlight the epidemiology, clinical features and surgical complications of retrosternal goitre. Methods: All patients operated for thyroid disease in period from June1996 to Dec 2003 in the surgical department of 7th October Hospital were retrospectively analyzed age, gender and clinical features were noted. Results: Out of 1898 thyroidectomies performed, 48 patient were found to have retrosternal goitre (2.5%).The mean age was 42 yrs (25-77 yrs). 41 (85.5%)patients were females and 7 (14.5%) patients were males. A 43 (89.6%) patients were euthyroid, 4(8.3%) patients were toxic and 1 (2.1%) patient hypothyroid. About one fourth of the patients were asymptomatic.Commonly observed symptoms were shortness of breath, hoarseness, dysphagia and superior vena cava obstruction. In all patient the goitre was resected through cervical incision, except one patient who needed partial sternotomy.Near total thyroidectomy was performed in 29 (60%) cases.There were three complications and no death. Conclusion: The incidence of retrosternal goitre with respect to thyroidectomy patients is (2.5%). Cervical incision is nearly always adequate. Retrosternal goitre dosen’t seems to be associated with increased incidence of postoperative complications.

Keywords: Retrosternal goiter, Epidemiology, Clinical features, Surgical complications