Background: Some have proposed using V600E BRAF mutation status to dictate the surgical management of patients with papillary thyroid cancer (PTC). However, well-designed studies examining BRAF association with aggressive clinicopathologic features of PTC, including the presence of lymph node metastases (LNM), in patients who have undergone routine central lymph node dissection (CLND), are lacking. Methods: Under institutional review board approval, 63 patients diagnosed with PTC on fine-needle aspiration who underwent total thyroidectomy and CLND were included. BRAF mutation status was determined in fresh frozen or intraoperative fine-needle aspiration samples with a colorimetric assay. Associations between BRAF mutation status and clinicopathologic features of PTC were examined using Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results: BRAF mutation was found to be significantly associated with race only on Chi-square analysis. BRAF mutation was not found to be significantly associated with the presence of LNM (P =.167). On multivariate analysis, only size and venous/lymphatic invasion were significantly associated with LNM. Conclusion: This small series underscores the prematurity in utilizing BRAF mutation status to determine the surgical management of patients with PTC, specifically whether or not to perform a CLND.
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