Reverse transcriptase - PCR has identified thyroglobulin mRNA (Tg mRNA) in peripheral blood of normal adults and adults with thyroid cancer. However, no children were studied. The primary objective of this study was to determine whether whole blood Tg mRNA levels differ between benign and malignant thyroid disease in children. The secondary goals were to determine whether whole blood Tg mRNA levels vary with age or pubertal development among children with thyroid disease. Whole blood Tg mRNA levels were determined in 38 children (29 girls, nine boys; median age, 14.5 y; range, 4.8-20.4 y) with benign and malignant thyroid disease and correlated with diagnosis, age, pubertal status, thyroid size, and serum levels of free thyroxine, TSH, and Tg protein. Tg mRNA levels ranged from 3.3 to 104 pg Eq/μg total thyroid RNA (mean, 28 ± 20.2 pg Eq/μg total thyroid RNA) and were similar in benign and malignant disorders (p = 0.671. However, in children with previously treated papillary thyroid cancer. Tg mRNA levels directly correlated with total body 131I uptake (p = 0.026) and serum Tg protein (p = 0.037). There was no difference between boys and girls, and no change with pubertal maturation. In children with benign thyroid disease, Tg mRNA levels correlated with serum TSH (p = 0.031), but not with diagnosis, age, Tanner stage, or thyroid size. We conclude that Tg mRNA levels are similar in children with benign and malignant thyroid disease and unchanged by age or pubertal status, but correlated with tumor burden in previously treated papillary thyroid cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health