Solitary metastatic cancer to the thyroid: a report of five cases with fine-needle aspiration cytology

Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Alberta Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
CytoJournal 02/2007; 4:5. DOI: 10.1186/1742-6413-4-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Three men and 2 women with ages ranging from 37 to 70 years, clinically and histologically confirmed solitary, palpable metastatic cancers to the thyroid (SMCT) and preoperative cytologic investigation of their thyroid lesions by fine-needle aspiration (FNA), were reviewed. Four patients were known to have a solid cancer treated by radical surgery 1 to 4 years prior [1 bronchogenic squamous cell carcinoma, 1 parotid adenoid cystic carcinoma, 1 renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and 1 cutaneous melanoma], and 1 patient had no past history of cancer. Direct smears prepared from the patients' thyroid FNAs were fixed in 95% ethanol and stained with the Papanicolaou method. In 3 cases, immunostaining of the aspirated tumor cells with thyroglobulin antibody was performed, and in 1 case an aspiration smear was stained with commercial HMB-45 antibody. A correct cytodiagnosis of metastatic cancer to the thyroid was made in all 5 cases. In 1 patient the thyroid FNA revealed a metastatic RCC that led to the discovery of a clinically occult RCC. All 5 patients died of metastatic disease 27 to 40 months after surgical resection of their SMCTs.

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