Benign nodular goiters are endemic in Germany and diagnostic thyroidectomy is one of the most frequent surgical procedures. Less than 10% result in a malignant finding which is a poor ratio in comparison to other European countries. There is a female preponderance in almost all thyroid pathologies according to the current literature but not much is known concerning gender-specific differences in thyroid nodules.
We aimed at finding gender-specific differences in diagnosis and treatment of nontoxic thyroid nodules and focused on preoperative workup as well as cytological and histological findings of patients with solitary and multinodular nontoxic goiters.
We retrospectively analyzed 392 cases out of 693 thyroid cases managed interdisciplinarily by the endocrine board of a university center between January 2015 and December 2018 (4 years).
The combination of fine needle biopsy and interdisciplinary case discussion resulted in a rate of malignancy of 28.9% in patients undergoing surgery for solitary and multinodular nontoxic goiter. Although there was no significant gender-specific difference in the distributions and malignancy rates of Bethesda categories, male patients had a significantly higher malignancy rate of 40% in our collective ( = 0.04).
Surgical treatment for male patients with suspicious hypofunctioning thyroid nodules should be favored. However, well-designed prospective studies are required to investigate gender-specific recommendations for the treatment of benign thyroid diseases in the future.

Copyright © 2020 by S. Karger AG, Basel.