• The question of thyroid neoplasia following high-dose radiation treatment to the neck and mediastinum for malignant neoplasms such as Hodgkin's lymphoma in children and young adults has been raised recently. Five patients, 19 to 39 years old, were operated on for thyroid neoplasms that developed following cervical and mediastinal radiation therapy for Hodgkin's lymphoma. Three patients had papillary carcinomas and two had follicular adenomas. The latency period between radiation exposure and the diagnosis of thyroid neoplasm ranged from eight to 16 years. This limited series provided strong support for the recommendation that children and young adults who are to receive high-dose radiation therapy to the head, neck, and mediastinum should receive suppressive doses of thyroxine prior to radiation therapy in order to suppress thyrotropin (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and then be maintained on a regimen of suppression permanently.
(Arch Surg 1987;122:684-686)