Background: Remnant radioiodine ablation is discouraged in low-risk differentiated thyroid cancer because it confers no survival advantage. The impact of remnant radioiodine ablation on health-related quality of life in these patients is not well described. We hypothesized remnant radioiodine ablation is associated with lower health-related quality of life in early-stage differentiated thyroid cancer survivors. Methods: A retrospective matched-pair analysis was conducted in stage I differentiated thyroid cancer survivors recruited from a thyroid cancer support group. Respondents self-reported via online survey. Dysphonia and dysphagia were reported via Likert scale. Health-related quality of life was evaluated using Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) 29-item profile. Respondents who received remnant radioiodine ablation were matched for age, sex, race, and years since diagnosis with respondents who did not receive remnant radioiodine ablation. PROMIS t-scores were compared between remnant radioiodine ablation and nonremnant radioiodine ablation groups, and among those with or without surgical complications. Results: One hundred and twenty-two pairs were matched. There was no significant difference in incidence of self-reported hypocalcemia, infection, dysphonia, or dysphagia between remnant radioiodine ablation and no remnant radioiodine ablation groups. There was no significant difference in mean PROMIS t-scores. Of respondents reporting normal preoperative voice and swallowing, there were no significant differences in postprocedural outcomes or PROMIS scores. Regardless of remnant radioiodine ablation treatment, those with surgical complications of hypocalcemia, dysphonia, or dysphagia reported worse PROMIS scores across multiple domains. Remnant radioiodine ablation-associated xerostomia was associated with worse PROMIS scores across multiple domains. Conclusion: This is the first study to use PROMIS measures to evaluate the association between remnant radioiodine ablation and health-related quality of life in early-stage differentiated thyroid cancer survivors treated surgically. Surgical and remnant radioiodine ablation-associated complications were associated with significantly worse PROMIS scores across multiple domains.
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