Hashimoto Thyroiditis in Primary Thyroid Non-Hodgkin LymphomaA Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Hashimoto Thyroiditis in Primary Thyroid Non-Hodgkin LymphomaA Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Abstract Objectives To assess the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) in primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) and whether it differs between mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Methods Electronic databases were searched for studies assessing HT prevalence in PTL, based on antithyroid antibodies, clinical history, or pathology. Pooled prevalence of HT and its association with histotype (MALT or DLBCL) were calculated. Results Thirty-eight studies with 1,346 PTLs were included. Pooled prevalence results were 78.9% (any HT evidence), 65.3% (antithyroid antibodies), 41.7% (clinical history), and 64% (pathology). HT prevalence was significantly higher in MALT lymphoma than in DLBCL (P = .007) and in mixed DLBCL/MALT than in pure DLBCL (P = .002). Conclusions Overall, 78.9% of patients with PTL have any HT evidence, but only half of these had been clinically followed. The difference in HT prevalence suggests that a subset of DLBCL may not derive from MALT lymphoma. Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare malignancy that accounts for 1% to 5% of all thyroid malignancies and 1% to 7% of all extranodal lymphomas.1-4 PTL occurs preferentially in females, with an incidence peak in the seventh decade.1,4,5 The most common clinical presentation of PTL is a palpable mass in the neck, which may cause dysphagia, dyspnea, and hoarseness. In addition, B symptoms (fever, night sweats, and weight loss of 10% and higher in the past 6 months) can be present.1 The most common histotypes are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which accounts for 50% to 70% of cases, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, which accounts for 10% to 50% of cases.6 Follicular lymphoma, small lymphocytic lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma have been described less commonly.1 The most important risk factor for PTL is Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT), which causes a 40- to 80-fold increase in the risk of PTL.3 However, it is unclear whether HT is a necessary condition for the development of PTL. In fact, while some authors suggested that all PTLs originate in an HT setting, other authors reported no evidence of HT in a series of patients with PTL.2,3,7-9 Moreover, it is also unclear whether HT is associated with particular PTL histotypes more strongly than with other ones. Aims of this study were (1) to define the prevalence of HT in patients with PTL, based on the several different diagnostic criteria adopted (eg, positive antithyroid antibodies, clinical history, histologic evidence) and (2) to assess the association of HT with PTL histotypes. Materials and Methods Methods of this review followed those from previous studies.10,11 The study methods were defined before the beginning of the study. All stages of the review were performed independently by three authors (A.T., M.P., and M.M.). Disagreements were resolved by consensus among authors. The study was reported by following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement.12 Search Strategy and Study Selection Six electronic databases (MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Sciences, OVID, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar) were searched from January 2009 to December 2018 for studies assessing the presence of HT in patients with PTL. The following combination of text words was used: (primary OR primitive) AND thyroid AND lymphoma. Exclusion criteria were as follows: data not extractable, inclusion of only T-cell PTLs, inclusion of only Hodgkin PTL, language other than English, case reports, and reviews. Data Extraction Data were not modified during extraction. Primary extracted data were the number of patients with HT and the total number of patients with PTL. The variable “number of patients with HT” was categorized based on the methods for HT diagnosis as follows: presence of antithyroid antibodies, clinical history of HT, histologic evidence of HT, and overall prevalence of HT diagnosed by any method. The variable “total number of patients with PTL” was also categorized based on the histologic type of lymphoma as follows: MALT or DLBCL. Moreover, wherever possible, data on DLBCL were subdivided into DLBCL with the MALT-type component and pure DLBCL. Risk of Bias Within Study Assessment A modified version of the revised Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2)13 was used to assess the risk of bias within studies. Four domains related to the risk of bias were assessed: (1) patient selection (ie, if the patients were selected consecutively or if at least inclusion criteria and period of enrollment were reported), (2) HT diagnosis (“index test” in the original QUADAS-2; ie, if methods for HT diagnosis were clearly described, (3) PTL diagnosis (“reference standard” in the original QUADAS-2; ie, if the results were subdivided according to the histotype of PTL), and (4) flow (ie, if all PTLs were assessed for the presence of HT). Authors’ judgments were categorized as “low risk,” “high risk,” or “unclear risk of bias,” as previously described.14,15 Concerns about applicability were also assessed for the “patient selection” domain (ie, if methods for patient selection did not suit the aim of our review, regardless of their correctness). Data Analysis The prevalence of HT in PTL was calculated as the number of patients diagnosed with HT by the total number of PTL patients. A subgroup analysis was also performed based on the time of publication (until 2010 or after 2010). The association of HT with the PTL histotype was assessed by using the odds ratio (OR). Both HT prevalence and OR were calculated for each study and as a pooled estimate with a 95% confidence interval (CI), as well as reported graphically on forest plots. The random-effect model of DerSimonian-Laird was used to pool data. Statistical heterogeneity was quantified by using Higgins’s inconsistency index (I2) and categorized as null (I2 = 0%), minimal (0 < I2 ≤ 25%), low (25% < I2 ≤ 50%), moderate (50% < I2 ≤ 75%), or high (I2 > 75%), as previously described.16,17 Review Manager 5.3 (The Nordic Cochrane Centre, Cochrane Collaboration, 2014) and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (Biostat) were used for the analyses. Results Study Selection and Characteristics Thirty-eight studies1-3,6-9,18-28 with a total of 1,346 PTLs were included, while 21 studies were excluded (inclusion of only T-cell PTL or only Hodgkin PTL; unavailability of data on HT). The process of study selection is reported in Supplementary Figure 1 (all supplemental materials can be found at American Journal of Clinical Pathology online). The diagnosis of HT was performed based on clinical history in 14 studies, on antithyroid antibodies in 15 studies, on histologic features in 12 studies, and on sonographic features in two studies. In 16 studies, HT diagnosis was based on the presence of at least one criterion among several ones. Characteristics of the included studies are reported in Table 1.1-3,6-8,18-48 Data about HT subdivided according to each diagnostic criterion are reported in Supplementary Table 1. Table 1 General Characteristics of the Included Studies Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Open in new tab Table 1 General Characteristics of the Included Studies Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Open in new tab Risk of Bias Assessment For the “patient selection” domain, one study was considered at unclear risk of bias (it was unclear whether patients were consecutively selected), while all the other studies were considered at low risk (all reported at least inclusion criteria and period of enrollment). Concerns about applicability were raised for eight studies (inclusion of only MALT,6,32,38 only DLBCL,27,33,35,43 only intermediate/high-grade PTLs19). For the “HT diagnosis” domain, the risk of bias was unclear for eight studies7,26,34,37,38,41,47,48 (unclear methods for HT diagnosis) and low for all the remaining studies. For the “PTL diagnosis” domain, the risk of bias was unclear for 12 studies2,19,22,23,31,34,36,37,40,44,45,47(results not subdivided according to PTL histotype) and low for all the remaining studies. For the “flow” domain, the risk of bias was unclear for seven studies22,28,31,33,37,39,44 (presence of HT not assessed on all PTLs) and low for all the remaining studies. Results of the risk of bias assessment are reported in Supplementary Figure 2. HT Prevalence Among patients with PTL, the overall prevalence of HT (ie, the presence of at least one among several different diagnostic criteria) was 78.8% (95% CI, 66%-87.7%; Figure 1), with high statistical heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 83.530). The percentage of patients with positive antithyroid antibodies was 65.3% (95% CI, 52.3%-76.3%; Figure 2), with moderate heterogeneity (I2 = 61.347%). The percentage of patients with a clinical history of HT was 41.7% (95% CI, 27.8%-57.1%; Figure 3), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 76.481%). The percentage of patients with histologic evidence of HT was 64% (95% CI, 44.4%-79.8%; Figure 4), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 87.878%). Figure 1 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of any diagnostic criterion. CI, confidence interval. Figure 1 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of any diagnostic criterion. CI, confidence interval. Figure 2 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the positivity for antithyroid antibodies. CI, confidence interval. Figure 2 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the positivity for antithyroid antibodies. CI, confidence interval. Figure 3 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the clinical history. CI, confidence interval. Figure 3 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the clinical history. CI, confidence interval. Figure 4 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of histologic features. CI, confidence interval. Figure 4 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of histologic features. CI, confidence interval. Subgroup Analysis The overall prevalence of HT was 71% (95% CI, 55.8%-82.7%) in the studies published until 2010 and 82.8% (95% CI, 67.3%-91.8%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 3). The percentage of patients with positive antithyroid antibodies was 67.9% (95% CI, 50.6%-81.3%) in the studies published until 2010 and 62.7% (95% CI, 40.4%-80.6%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 4). The percentage of patients with a clinical history of HT was 51.1% (95% CI, 31.1%-70.8%) in the studies published until 2010 and 30.9% (95% CI, 15.2%-52.8%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 5). The percentage of patients with histologic evidence of HT was 60.2% (95% CI, 37.6%-79.2%) in the studies published until 2010 and 73.1% (95% CI, 31.3%-94.2%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 6). HT in PTL Histotypes Among PTL, the prevalence of HT was significantly higher in MALT lymphoma than in DLBCL, with an OR of 2.175 (95% CI, 1.238-3.821; P = .007; Figure 5), with low statistical heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 19.295%). Furthermore, among DLBCL, the prevalence of HT was significantly higher in DLBCLs with a MALT-type component than in pure DLBCLs, with an OR of 9.11 (95% CI, 2.313-35.879; P = .002; Figure 6), with null heterogeneity (I2 = 0.000%). Figure 5 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Figure 5 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Figure 6 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with the presence of a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue component in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Figure 6 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with the presence of a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue component in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Discussion Main Findings and Interpretation This study showed that, among patients with PTL, 65.3% had positive antithyroid antibodies, 41.7% had a clinical history of HT, 64% had histologic evidence of HT, and 78.9% had any evidence of HT. Furthermore, HT prevalence was significantly higher in MALT lymphoma than in DLBCL and in DLBCLs with a MALT-type component than in pure DLBCLs. The diagnosis of HT is based on clinical features, serum antithyroid antibodies, sonographic features, and pathologic examination. Clinical features include local manifestations due to mass effect and variable systemic manifestations due to hypothyroidism. The main antithyroid antibodies are antithyroperoxidase antibodies, which constitute the most reliable serologic marker of HT, and antithyroglobulin antibodies. Ultrasonographic features consist of a loss of echogenicity of the thyroid parenchyma, which appears similar to the surrounding muscles. A characteristic pathologic feature is the presence of an interstitial infiltrate, which is mainly constituted of lymphocytes organized into true lymphoid follicles.49 The association between HT and PTL is well established. Patients with HT bear a 40- to 80-fold increased risk of PTL. However, the prevalence of HT in patients with PTL is highly variable among the studies in the literature.2,3,7-9 These differences might be due to the different methods used to ascertain the presence of HT. In fact, patients with HT not necessarily show all sign and symptoms of disease,49 and thus it is possible that the prevalence may vary based on the criterion adopted for diagnosis. Our results showed that the overall prevalence of HT in PTL was 78.9%. Diagnostic parameters suitable for the meta-analysis were presence of antithyroid antibodies, clinical history of HT, and histologic evidence of HT; unfortunately, only two studies adopted ultrasonographic criteria to diagnose HT,8,40 not allowing a meta-analysis. As expected, the prevalence of HT according to each single parameter was lower than the overall prevalence. However, while the percentage of patients with antithyroid antibodies was similar to those with pathologic features of HT (65.3% and 64%, respectively), a clinical history of HT was definitely less common (41.7%). In the included studies, “clinical history of HT” included any past evidence that led to a diagnosis of HT. Our results indicate that about four-fifths of patients with PTL have a background of HT, but in half of these patients HT had not been diagnosed previously. It remains to be defined whether an improvement in thyroid screening programs may also improve prevention of PTL.50,51 In the subgroup analyses about time of publication, we found an increase of the overall prevalence of HT over time, which was also observed with regard to histologic features. On the other hand, a decrease was found for the percentage of patients with a clinical history of HT, while the percentage of patients with antithyroid antibodies appeared relatively stable. However, none of these differences was statistically significant, as indicated by the widely overlapping 95% CI. Furthermore, the period of enrollment of the studies did not reflect the time of publication; for example, the study by Gupta et al,23 published in 2005, enrolled patients since 1998, while the newer study by Alzouebi et al,36 published in 2012, enrolled patients since 1970. Therefore, it is unclear if these findings reflect a real variation in the prevalence of HT over time. Regarding histotypes, PTL is in most cases a MALT lymphoma or a DLBCL. The association between marginal zone lymphomas and autoimmune disorders is well described. It is thought that the chronic stimulation of B cells caused by autoantigens leads to an increased risk of cumulative genetic events; the activation of the nuclear factor–κB pathway seems to be crucial in this process.52 According to several authors, almost all cases of PTLs are MALT type, which arise from HT and can progress to DLBCL. Based on this hypothesis, PTL might be considered a single entity with a homogeneous etiopathogenesis.25 In the stomach, clonal relationships and identical light chain restrictions were found in DLBCL and MALT lymphoma, suggesting that most if not all DLBCLs derive from an evolution of MALT lymphomas.53,54 In the thyroid, such a hypothesis is also supported by the relatively common finding of a MALT-type component coexistent with DLBCL.3,18,20,24,42 According to our results, among PTLs an HT background was significantly less common in DLBCL than in MALT lymphoma; furthermore, the prevalence of HT was significantly lower in pure DLBCL than in DLBCL with a MALT component. Such a finding may suggest that at least a part of primary thyroid DLBCL has an etiopathogenesis different from MALT lymphomas. A previous study found that VH immunoglobulin family usage was different between MALT lymphomas and DLBCL of the thyroid,25 supporting the hypothesis of a different pathogenesis. Further studies are necessary in this regard. Strengths and Limitations To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis assessing the prevalence of HT in PTL. Furthermore, this may also be the first review that considered separately the different methods for diagnosing HT in this field. The main limitation to our results might be the statistical heterogeneity among studies. This heterogeneity may in part be due to the different aims of the included studies. Some studies are in fact centered on pathology, while other ones are focused on clinical features, imaging techniques, or treatment outcomes. Although we tried to limit this heterogeneity by assessing separately the different diagnostic methods for HT, statistical heterogeneity remained significant. The lack of definitive pathology specimens for many patients may be another limitation. The assessment of histologic features might indeed be inaccurate on small biopsy specimens. However, surgery is recommended only for low-grade lymphoma at stage IE-IIE, while high-grade lymphomas and advanced lymphomas are treated with chemo/radiotherapy.55 Finally, a subgroup analysis based on geographic differences was not feasible, due to the unbalanced geographic distribution of the included studies. In fact, most of the included studies were from East Asia, while only six were from Europe and only two from North America. Conclusion Among patients with PTL, 78.9% show any evidence of HT, 65.3% have positive antithyroid antibodies, 64% have histologic evidence of HT, and only 41.7% have a clinical history of HT. HT is significantly less common in DLBCL than in MALT lymphoma, suggesting that a subset of DLBCLs may not derive from MALT lymphomas. References 1. Bostancı H , Dikmen K , Akyürek N , et al. Eleven patients with primary thyroid lymphoma: a single center experience . Turk J Med Sci. 2017 ; 47 : 1322 - 1327 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 2. 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Endocr J. 2009 ; 56 : 399 - 405 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 31. Sun TQ , Zhu XL , Wang ZY , et al. Characteristics and prognosis of primary thyroid non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Chinese patients . J Surg Oncol. 2010 ; 101 : 545 - 550 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 32. Lee SC , Hong SW , Lee YS , et al. Primary thyroid mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma; a clinicopathological study of seven cases . J Korean Surg Soc. 2011 ; 81 : 374 - 379 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 33. Mian M , Gaidano G , Conconi A , et al. High response rate and improvement of long-term survival with combined treatment modalities in patients with poor-risk primary thyroid diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: an International Extranodal Lymphoma Study Group and Intergruppo Italiano Linfomi study . Leuk Lymphoma. 2011 ; 52 : 823 - 832 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 34. Onal C , Li YX , Miller RC , et al. 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Primary thyroid marginal zone B-cell lymphoma of the mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue type: clinical manifestation and outcome of a rare disease—Consortium for Improving Survival of Lymphoma Study . Acta Haematol. 2012 ; 127 : 100 - 104 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 39. Cha H , Kim JW , Suh CO , et al. Patterns of care and treatment outcomes for primary thyroid lymphoma: a single institution study . Radiat Oncol J. 2013 ; 31 : 177 - 184 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 40. Ma B , Jia Y , Wang Q , et al. Ultrasound of primary thyroid non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma . Clin Imaging. 2014 ; 38 : 621 - 626 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 41. Watanabe N , Narimatsu H , Noh JY , et al. Rituximab-including combined modality treatment for primary thyroid lymphoma: an effective regimen for elderly patients . Thyroid. 2014 ; 24 : 994 - 999 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 42. Chai YJ , Hong JH , Koo do H , et al. Clinicopathological characteristics and treatment outcomes of 38 cases of primary thyroid lymphoma: a multicenter study . Ann Surg Treat Res. 2015 ; 89 : 295 - 299 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 43. Knief J , Gebauer N , Bernard V , et al. Oncogenic mutations and chromosomal aberrations in primary extranodal diffuse large B-cell lymphomas of the thyroid—a study of 21 cases . J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 ; 100 : 754 - 762 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 44. Li XB , Ye ZX . Primary thyroid lymphoma: multi-slice computed tomography findings . Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015 ; 16 : 1135 - 1138 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 45. Wei X , Li Y , Zhang S , et al. Evaluation of primary thyroid lymphoma by ultrasonography combined with contrast-enhanced ultrasonography: a pilot study . Indian J Cancer. 2015 ; 52 : 546 - 550 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 46. 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Evaluation of diagnostic performance of screening thyroid ultrasonography and imaging findings of screening-detected thyroid cancer . Cancer Res Treat. 2018 ; 50 : 11 - 18 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 52. Teixeira Mendes LS , Wotherspoon A . Marginal zone lymphoma: associated autoimmunity and auto-immune disorders . Best Pract Res Clin Haematol. 2017 ; 30 : 65 - 76 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 53. Peng H , Du M , Diss TC , et al. Genetic evidence for a clonal link between low and high-grade components in gastric MALT B-cell lymphoma . Histopathology. 1997 ; 30 : 425 - 429 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 54. Chan JK , Ng CS , Isaacson PG . Relationship between high-grade lymphoma and low-grade B-cell mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma (MALToma) of the stomach . Am J Pathol. 1990 ; 136 : 1153 - 1164 . Google Scholar PubMed WorldCat 55. Zelenetz AD , Gordon LI , Abramson JS , et al. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®): B-Cell Lymphomas . Version 3.2019. 2019. Available at https://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/default.aspx#site. Google Preview WorldCat COPAC © American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2019. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Clinical Pathology Oxford University Press

Hashimoto Thyroiditis in Primary Thyroid Non-Hodgkin LymphomaA Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Oxford University Press
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© American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2019. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com
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0002-9173
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1943-7722
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10.1093/ajcp/aqz145
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Abstract

Abstract Objectives To assess the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT) in primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) and whether it differs between mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Methods Electronic databases were searched for studies assessing HT prevalence in PTL, based on antithyroid antibodies, clinical history, or pathology. Pooled prevalence of HT and its association with histotype (MALT or DLBCL) were calculated. Results Thirty-eight studies with 1,346 PTLs were included. Pooled prevalence results were 78.9% (any HT evidence), 65.3% (antithyroid antibodies), 41.7% (clinical history), and 64% (pathology). HT prevalence was significantly higher in MALT lymphoma than in DLBCL (P = .007) and in mixed DLBCL/MALT than in pure DLBCL (P = .002). Conclusions Overall, 78.9% of patients with PTL have any HT evidence, but only half of these had been clinically followed. The difference in HT prevalence suggests that a subset of DLBCL may not derive from MALT lymphoma. Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare malignancy that accounts for 1% to 5% of all thyroid malignancies and 1% to 7% of all extranodal lymphomas.1-4 PTL occurs preferentially in females, with an incidence peak in the seventh decade.1,4,5 The most common clinical presentation of PTL is a palpable mass in the neck, which may cause dysphagia, dyspnea, and hoarseness. In addition, B symptoms (fever, night sweats, and weight loss of 10% and higher in the past 6 months) can be present.1 The most common histotypes are diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which accounts for 50% to 70% of cases, and mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, which accounts for 10% to 50% of cases.6 Follicular lymphoma, small lymphocytic lymphoma, Burkitt lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma, T-cell lymphoma, and Hodgkin lymphoma have been described less commonly.1 The most important risk factor for PTL is Hashimoto thyroiditis (HT), which causes a 40- to 80-fold increase in the risk of PTL.3 However, it is unclear whether HT is a necessary condition for the development of PTL. In fact, while some authors suggested that all PTLs originate in an HT setting, other authors reported no evidence of HT in a series of patients with PTL.2,3,7-9 Moreover, it is also unclear whether HT is associated with particular PTL histotypes more strongly than with other ones. Aims of this study were (1) to define the prevalence of HT in patients with PTL, based on the several different diagnostic criteria adopted (eg, positive antithyroid antibodies, clinical history, histologic evidence) and (2) to assess the association of HT with PTL histotypes. Materials and Methods Methods of this review followed those from previous studies.10,11 The study methods were defined before the beginning of the study. All stages of the review were performed independently by three authors (A.T., M.P., and M.M.). Disagreements were resolved by consensus among authors. The study was reported by following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses statement.12 Search Strategy and Study Selection Six electronic databases (MEDLINE, Scopus, Web of Sciences, OVID, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar) were searched from January 2009 to December 2018 for studies assessing the presence of HT in patients with PTL. The following combination of text words was used: (primary OR primitive) AND thyroid AND lymphoma. Exclusion criteria were as follows: data not extractable, inclusion of only T-cell PTLs, inclusion of only Hodgkin PTL, language other than English, case reports, and reviews. Data Extraction Data were not modified during extraction. Primary extracted data were the number of patients with HT and the total number of patients with PTL. The variable “number of patients with HT” was categorized based on the methods for HT diagnosis as follows: presence of antithyroid antibodies, clinical history of HT, histologic evidence of HT, and overall prevalence of HT diagnosed by any method. The variable “total number of patients with PTL” was also categorized based on the histologic type of lymphoma as follows: MALT or DLBCL. Moreover, wherever possible, data on DLBCL were subdivided into DLBCL with the MALT-type component and pure DLBCL. Risk of Bias Within Study Assessment A modified version of the revised Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies (QUADAS-2)13 was used to assess the risk of bias within studies. Four domains related to the risk of bias were assessed: (1) patient selection (ie, if the patients were selected consecutively or if at least inclusion criteria and period of enrollment were reported), (2) HT diagnosis (“index test” in the original QUADAS-2; ie, if methods for HT diagnosis were clearly described, (3) PTL diagnosis (“reference standard” in the original QUADAS-2; ie, if the results were subdivided according to the histotype of PTL), and (4) flow (ie, if all PTLs were assessed for the presence of HT). Authors’ judgments were categorized as “low risk,” “high risk,” or “unclear risk of bias,” as previously described.14,15 Concerns about applicability were also assessed for the “patient selection” domain (ie, if methods for patient selection did not suit the aim of our review, regardless of their correctness). Data Analysis The prevalence of HT in PTL was calculated as the number of patients diagnosed with HT by the total number of PTL patients. A subgroup analysis was also performed based on the time of publication (until 2010 or after 2010). The association of HT with the PTL histotype was assessed by using the odds ratio (OR). Both HT prevalence and OR were calculated for each study and as a pooled estimate with a 95% confidence interval (CI), as well as reported graphically on forest plots. The random-effect model of DerSimonian-Laird was used to pool data. Statistical heterogeneity was quantified by using Higgins’s inconsistency index (I2) and categorized as null (I2 = 0%), minimal (0 < I2 ≤ 25%), low (25% < I2 ≤ 50%), moderate (50% < I2 ≤ 75%), or high (I2 > 75%), as previously described.16,17 Review Manager 5.3 (The Nordic Cochrane Centre, Cochrane Collaboration, 2014) and Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (Biostat) were used for the analyses. Results Study Selection and Characteristics Thirty-eight studies1-3,6-9,18-28 with a total of 1,346 PTLs were included, while 21 studies were excluded (inclusion of only T-cell PTL or only Hodgkin PTL; unavailability of data on HT). The process of study selection is reported in Supplementary Figure 1 (all supplemental materials can be found at American Journal of Clinical Pathology online). The diagnosis of HT was performed based on clinical history in 14 studies, on antithyroid antibodies in 15 studies, on histologic features in 12 studies, and on sonographic features in two studies. In 16 studies, HT diagnosis was based on the presence of at least one criterion among several ones. Characteristics of the included studies are reported in Table 1.1-3,6-8,18-48 Data about HT subdivided according to each diagnostic criterion are reported in Supplementary Table 1. Table 1 General Characteristics of the Included Studies Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Open in new tab Table 1 General Characteristics of the Included Studies Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Study Country Period of Enrollment Sample Size, No. 1999 Lam et al18 Hong Kong 1968-1997 23 2000 Derringer et al3 United States 1985-1993 107 2001 Belal et al19 Arabia 1975-1995 52 2002 Thieblemont et al20 France 1987-2000 26 2003 Kim et al21 Korea 1994-2001 9 2003 Lerma et al22 Spain 1992-2001 7 2005 Gupta et al23 India 1998-2004 10 2006 Cho et al24 Korea 1989-2004 18 2006 Sato et al25 Japan 1989-2004 58 2007 Colović et al26 Serbia 1994-1999 9 2007 Niitsu et al27 Japan 1998-2005 32 2007 Au et al9 China 1992-2002 9 2008 Moshynska and Saxena28 Canada 1995-2000 20 2009 Avenia et al29 Italy 1986-2008 6 2009 Hwang et al30 Korea 1991-2006 44 2010 Sun et al31 China 1991-2007 40 2011 Lee et al32 Korea 1997-2007 7 2011 Mian et al33 Multicenter 1985-2006 48 2011 Onal et al34 Multicenter 1986-2006 87 2011 Watanabe et al35 Japan 1990-2004 171 2012 Alzouebi et al36 United Kingdom 1970-2010 70 2012 Nam et al37 Korea 1995-2010 16 2012 Oh et al38 Korea 1989-2010 27 2013 Cha et al39 Korea 1994-2012 29 2013 Kumar et al7 India 2005-2010 16 2014 Ma et al40 China 2002-2008 39 2014 Watanabe et al41 Japan 2005-2011 43 2014 Xia et al8 China 1995-2010 27 2015 Chai et al42 Korea 2000-2013 38 2015 Knief et al43 Germany Unclear 21 2015 Li et al44 China 2007-2014 27 2015 Wang et al2 China 2007-2013 13 2015 Wei et al45 China 2009-2012 20 2015 Yang et al46 China 1995-2012 12 2017 Bostancı et al1 Turkey 2009-2015 11 2017 Gu et al47 China 1999-2017 27 2018 Li et al48 China 2008-2017 20 2018 Watanabe et al6 Japan 1990-2009 107 Total 1,346 Open in new tab Risk of Bias Assessment For the “patient selection” domain, one study was considered at unclear risk of bias (it was unclear whether patients were consecutively selected), while all the other studies were considered at low risk (all reported at least inclusion criteria and period of enrollment). Concerns about applicability were raised for eight studies (inclusion of only MALT,6,32,38 only DLBCL,27,33,35,43 only intermediate/high-grade PTLs19). For the “HT diagnosis” domain, the risk of bias was unclear for eight studies7,26,34,37,38,41,47,48 (unclear methods for HT diagnosis) and low for all the remaining studies. For the “PTL diagnosis” domain, the risk of bias was unclear for 12 studies2,19,22,23,31,34,36,37,40,44,45,47(results not subdivided according to PTL histotype) and low for all the remaining studies. For the “flow” domain, the risk of bias was unclear for seven studies22,28,31,33,37,39,44 (presence of HT not assessed on all PTLs) and low for all the remaining studies. Results of the risk of bias assessment are reported in Supplementary Figure 2. HT Prevalence Among patients with PTL, the overall prevalence of HT (ie, the presence of at least one among several different diagnostic criteria) was 78.8% (95% CI, 66%-87.7%; Figure 1), with high statistical heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 83.530). The percentage of patients with positive antithyroid antibodies was 65.3% (95% CI, 52.3%-76.3%; Figure 2), with moderate heterogeneity (I2 = 61.347%). The percentage of patients with a clinical history of HT was 41.7% (95% CI, 27.8%-57.1%; Figure 3), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 76.481%). The percentage of patients with histologic evidence of HT was 64% (95% CI, 44.4%-79.8%; Figure 4), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 87.878%). Figure 1 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of any diagnostic criterion. CI, confidence interval. Figure 1 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of any diagnostic criterion. CI, confidence interval. Figure 2 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the positivity for antithyroid antibodies. CI, confidence interval. Figure 2 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the positivity for antithyroid antibodies. CI, confidence interval. Figure 3 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the clinical history. CI, confidence interval. Figure 3 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the clinical history. CI, confidence interval. Figure 4 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of histologic features. CI, confidence interval. Figure 4 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the prevalence of Hashimoto thyroiditis in patients with primary thyroid lymphoma based on the presence of histologic features. CI, confidence interval. Subgroup Analysis The overall prevalence of HT was 71% (95% CI, 55.8%-82.7%) in the studies published until 2010 and 82.8% (95% CI, 67.3%-91.8%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 3). The percentage of patients with positive antithyroid antibodies was 67.9% (95% CI, 50.6%-81.3%) in the studies published until 2010 and 62.7% (95% CI, 40.4%-80.6%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 4). The percentage of patients with a clinical history of HT was 51.1% (95% CI, 31.1%-70.8%) in the studies published until 2010 and 30.9% (95% CI, 15.2%-52.8%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 5). The percentage of patients with histologic evidence of HT was 60.2% (95% CI, 37.6%-79.2%) in the studies published until 2010 and 73.1% (95% CI, 31.3%-94.2%) in the studies published after 2010 (Supplementary Figure 6). HT in PTL Histotypes Among PTL, the prevalence of HT was significantly higher in MALT lymphoma than in DLBCL, with an OR of 2.175 (95% CI, 1.238-3.821; P = .007; Figure 5), with low statistical heterogeneity among studies (I2 = 19.295%). Furthermore, among DLBCL, the prevalence of HT was significantly higher in DLBCLs with a MALT-type component than in pure DLBCLs, with an OR of 9.11 (95% CI, 2.313-35.879; P = .002; Figure 6), with null heterogeneity (I2 = 0.000%). Figure 5 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Figure 5 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Figure 6 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with the presence of a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue component in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Figure 6 Open in new tabDownload slide Forest plot reporting the odds ratio for the association of Hashimoto thyroiditis with the presence of a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue component in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. CI, confidence interval. Discussion Main Findings and Interpretation This study showed that, among patients with PTL, 65.3% had positive antithyroid antibodies, 41.7% had a clinical history of HT, 64% had histologic evidence of HT, and 78.9% had any evidence of HT. Furthermore, HT prevalence was significantly higher in MALT lymphoma than in DLBCL and in DLBCLs with a MALT-type component than in pure DLBCLs. The diagnosis of HT is based on clinical features, serum antithyroid antibodies, sonographic features, and pathologic examination. Clinical features include local manifestations due to mass effect and variable systemic manifestations due to hypothyroidism. The main antithyroid antibodies are antithyroperoxidase antibodies, which constitute the most reliable serologic marker of HT, and antithyroglobulin antibodies. Ultrasonographic features consist of a loss of echogenicity of the thyroid parenchyma, which appears similar to the surrounding muscles. A characteristic pathologic feature is the presence of an interstitial infiltrate, which is mainly constituted of lymphocytes organized into true lymphoid follicles.49 The association between HT and PTL is well established. Patients with HT bear a 40- to 80-fold increased risk of PTL. However, the prevalence of HT in patients with PTL is highly variable among the studies in the literature.2,3,7-9 These differences might be due to the different methods used to ascertain the presence of HT. In fact, patients with HT not necessarily show all sign and symptoms of disease,49 and thus it is possible that the prevalence may vary based on the criterion adopted for diagnosis. Our results showed that the overall prevalence of HT in PTL was 78.9%. Diagnostic parameters suitable for the meta-analysis were presence of antithyroid antibodies, clinical history of HT, and histologic evidence of HT; unfortunately, only two studies adopted ultrasonographic criteria to diagnose HT,8,40 not allowing a meta-analysis. As expected, the prevalence of HT according to each single parameter was lower than the overall prevalence. However, while the percentage of patients with antithyroid antibodies was similar to those with pathologic features of HT (65.3% and 64%, respectively), a clinical history of HT was definitely less common (41.7%). In the included studies, “clinical history of HT” included any past evidence that led to a diagnosis of HT. Our results indicate that about four-fifths of patients with PTL have a background of HT, but in half of these patients HT had not been diagnosed previously. It remains to be defined whether an improvement in thyroid screening programs may also improve prevention of PTL.50,51 In the subgroup analyses about time of publication, we found an increase of the overall prevalence of HT over time, which was also observed with regard to histologic features. On the other hand, a decrease was found for the percentage of patients with a clinical history of HT, while the percentage of patients with antithyroid antibodies appeared relatively stable. However, none of these differences was statistically significant, as indicated by the widely overlapping 95% CI. Furthermore, the period of enrollment of the studies did not reflect the time of publication; for example, the study by Gupta et al,23 published in 2005, enrolled patients since 1998, while the newer study by Alzouebi et al,36 published in 2012, enrolled patients since 1970. Therefore, it is unclear if these findings reflect a real variation in the prevalence of HT over time. Regarding histotypes, PTL is in most cases a MALT lymphoma or a DLBCL. The association between marginal zone lymphomas and autoimmune disorders is well described. It is thought that the chronic stimulation of B cells caused by autoantigens leads to an increased risk of cumulative genetic events; the activation of the nuclear factor–κB pathway seems to be crucial in this process.52 According to several authors, almost all cases of PTLs are MALT type, which arise from HT and can progress to DLBCL. Based on this hypothesis, PTL might be considered a single entity with a homogeneous etiopathogenesis.25 In the stomach, clonal relationships and identical light chain restrictions were found in DLBCL and MALT lymphoma, suggesting that most if not all DLBCLs derive from an evolution of MALT lymphomas.53,54 In the thyroid, such a hypothesis is also supported by the relatively common finding of a MALT-type component coexistent with DLBCL.3,18,20,24,42 According to our results, among PTLs an HT background was significantly less common in DLBCL than in MALT lymphoma; furthermore, the prevalence of HT was significantly lower in pure DLBCL than in DLBCL with a MALT component. Such a finding may suggest that at least a part of primary thyroid DLBCL has an etiopathogenesis different from MALT lymphomas. A previous study found that VH immunoglobulin family usage was different between MALT lymphomas and DLBCL of the thyroid,25 supporting the hypothesis of a different pathogenesis. Further studies are necessary in this regard. Strengths and Limitations To our knowledge, this is the first meta-analysis assessing the prevalence of HT in PTL. Furthermore, this may also be the first review that considered separately the different methods for diagnosing HT in this field. The main limitation to our results might be the statistical heterogeneity among studies. This heterogeneity may in part be due to the different aims of the included studies. Some studies are in fact centered on pathology, while other ones are focused on clinical features, imaging techniques, or treatment outcomes. Although we tried to limit this heterogeneity by assessing separately the different diagnostic methods for HT, statistical heterogeneity remained significant. The lack of definitive pathology specimens for many patients may be another limitation. The assessment of histologic features might indeed be inaccurate on small biopsy specimens. However, surgery is recommended only for low-grade lymphoma at stage IE-IIE, while high-grade lymphomas and advanced lymphomas are treated with chemo/radiotherapy.55 Finally, a subgroup analysis based on geographic differences was not feasible, due to the unbalanced geographic distribution of the included studies. In fact, most of the included studies were from East Asia, while only six were from Europe and only two from North America. Conclusion Among patients with PTL, 78.9% show any evidence of HT, 65.3% have positive antithyroid antibodies, 64% have histologic evidence of HT, and only 41.7% have a clinical history of HT. HT is significantly less common in DLBCL than in MALT lymphoma, suggesting that a subset of DLBCLs may not derive from MALT lymphomas. References 1. Bostancı H , Dikmen K , Akyürek N , et al. Eleven patients with primary thyroid lymphoma: a single center experience . Turk J Med Sci. 2017 ; 47 : 1322 - 1327 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS PubMed WorldCat 2. 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Journal

American Journal of Clinical PathologyOxford University Press

Published: Apr 11, 10

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