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Michaela Despina Carides Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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Ruchika Mehta Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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Jaco Louw Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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Farzahna Mohamed Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

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Summary

Thyroid-stimulating hormone-secreting pituitary adenomas (TSHomas) are rare, accounting for less than 1% of all pituitary adenomas. We present a case of hyperthyroidism secondary to a likely TSHoma and coexisting functional thyroid adenoma. Laboratory errors and familial abnormalities in thyroid function tests were ruled out, and a diagnosis of the toxic thyroid adenoma was confirmed on a thyroid uptake scan. However, the triiodothyronine suppression test was contraindicated due to the patient’s cardiovascular disease, and the thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulation test, measurement of glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit, and genetic testing were unavailable. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a suprasellar pituitary macroadenoma measuring 40 mm × 20.3 mm × 17 mm. The patient was initiated on carbimazole; however, thyroid stimulating hormone and thyroxine levels remained elevated. The patient declined trans-sphenoidal surgery and was treated with radioactive iodine to manage the toxic thyroid adenoma, leading to reduced thyroxine levels and symptom improvement. Unfortunately, the patient passed away before long-acting somatostatin analogs became available. This case highlights the diagnostic and therapeutic challenges involved in managing thyrotoxicosis with dual etiology.

Learning points

  • Hyperthyroidism can have multiple etiologies, which can coexist in the same patient.

  • Persistent discordant thyroid function tests warrant further investigation.

  • The gold standard for diagnosis of TSHomas remains immunohistochemical analysis of the tumor tissue.

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Ewa Stogowska Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Białystok, Bialystok, Poland

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Agnieszka Łebkowska Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Białystok, Bialystok, Poland

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Maria Kościuszko Department of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Internal Medicine, Medical University of Białystok, Bialystok, Poland

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Grzegorz Zieliński Department of Neurosurgery, Military Institute of Medicine, Warsaw, Poland

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Irina Kowalska Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Białystok, Bialystok, Poland

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Monika Karczewska-Kupczewska Department of Internal Medicine and Metabolic Diseases, Medical University of Białystok, Bialystok, Poland

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Summary

We report a case of a 59-year-old woman with Cushing’s disease who developed hyperthyroidism following treatment of hypercortisolaemia. The patient with a history of recurrent hospitalisations caused by multi-sited soft tissue abscesses was admitted with sepsis. Both her medical history and physical examination suggested Cushing’s syndrome. The initial hormonal diagnostic process, conducted after sepsis treatment, brought forth conflicting results. However, hormonal assessment repeated 3 months later indicated pituitary hypercortisolaemia, which was confirmed through bilateral inferior petrosal sinus sampling and was successfully treated with transsphenoidal pituitary surgery. Three months after the surgery, the patient was readmitted to our epartment with symptoms of hyperthyroidism, which was confirmed by laboratory tests. Thyroid scintiscans indicated Graves’ disease. However, the absence of anti-thyroid stimulating hormone antibodies suggested other etiologies of hyperthyroidism. Eventually, the patient underwent radioiodine therapy. Currently, her condition is improving and she has had no recurrence of abscesses, severe infections, or hyperthyroidism. In conclusion, while clinical manifestation of hypercortisolaemia might be non-specific, its treatment may trigger the development of autoimmune diseases.

Learning points

  • The presence of recurrent severe infections should prompt physicians to consider the possibility of hypercortisolaemia.

  • Chronic hypercortisolism is debilitating and can lead to significant disability.

  • Dexamethasone suppression testing in patients with active or recent severe inflammatory or infectious illnesses may produce misleading or confusing results.

  • Clinicians should be aware of the potential development of autoimmune diseases following successful treatment of hypercortisolaemia.

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Tejal Patel Division of Endocrinology, Children’s National Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

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Rachel Longendyke Division of Endocrinology, Children’s National Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

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Roopa Kanakatti Shankar Division of Endocrinology, Children’s National Hospital, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Department of Pediatrics, George Washington School of Medicine, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

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Nadia Merchant Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

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Summary

Iodine nutrition is a growing issue within the USA due to newer trends of non-iodized salts. There are no recent reviews looking at the current state of iodine deficiency-induced hypothyroidism in children in the USA. We performed a retrospective chart review at our tertiary pediatric endocrine clinic; four met the diagnostic criteria for iodine deficiency defined by a low urine iodine level. We further characterized severity of disease, risk factors, goiter, thyroid labs and antibodies. All cases had significant goiter and were diagnosed within the last 2 years. One case had iodine deficiency due to no iodized salt intake along with concurrent diagnosis of developmental delay and multiple food allergies, while others involved the use of non-iodized salts. Two cases had iodine deficiency along with autoimmunity. It is critical to obtain a dietary history for all patients who present with goiter and/or hypothyroidism. There may be a need to consider reevaluating current preventative measures for iodine deficiency, especially for certain vulnerable populations such as children who do not consume iodized salt.

Learning points

  • In recent decades, iodine nutrition has become a growing concern due to changing dietary patterns and food manufacturing practices.

  • A dietary history is crucial to obtain in children presenting with hypothyroidism and goiter, especially in children with restrictive diets due to behavioral concerns, developmental delays, or multiple food allergies.

  • Of the 12 different types of salts commercially available, only table salt contains iodine in an appropriate amount; thus, individuals using specialty salts can develop mild to moderate iodine deficiency-related thyroid disease.

Open access
R K Dharmaputra Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service, Gold Coast, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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C M Piesse Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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S Chaubey Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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A K Sinha Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Endocrinolgy and Diabetes, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Cairns Diabetes Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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H C Chiam Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Department of Surgery, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

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Summary

A 48-year-old Asian male, presented to the hospital for an elective total thyroidectomy in the context of 6.3 cm thyroid nodule. The fine needle aspiration cytology of the nodule confirmed papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) with some atypical histiocytes. He has a history of idiopathic arginine vasopressin deficiency (AVP-D) and has been taking oral DDAVP 100 µg daily, self-adjusting the dose based on thirst and polyuria. Additionally, he also has a history of recurrent spontaneous pneumothorax. His total thyroidectomy was aborted due to significant intraoperative bleeding, and his admission was further complicated by post-operative hyponatraemic seizure. Thyroid histology revealed the diagnosis of Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), and further investigation with contrast CT demonstrated multi-organ involvement of the thyroid, lungs, and bones.

Learning points

  • Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) is a condition that can affect one or more organ systems, including the pituitary, where it can present as AVP deficiency. Strict monitoring of fluid balance, as well as serial monitoring of serum sodium, is essential in all patients with AVP-D in the perioperative setting.

  • Iatrogenic hyponatraemic seizure is an uncommon but serious complication of DDAVP treatment in hospitalised patients with AVP-D. DDAVP dosing must be carefully monitored.

  • LCH with multisystem involvement is an important mimic for metastatic conditions, and histological diagnosis is essential to guide treatment and prognosis.

  • Although LCH without bone marrow involvement is unlikely to increase the risk of bleeding, its effect on tissue integrity may make surgery more challenging.

  • BRAF-V600E mutation is an important driver mutation and a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of LCH.

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Stephanie Patrick Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

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Deirdre James Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, The University of Tennessee, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

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Summary

Thyroid cancer is one of the most common manifestations of Cowden syndrome, yet the syndrome is rare. The incidence of Cowden syndrome is 1 in 200,000. The diagnosis can be made clinically when patients present with a combination of symptoms such as mucocutaneous lesions with a strong personal or family history of thyroid, breast, endometrial, and colorectal cancer. A high index of suspicion is required to provide a clinical diagnosis utilizing major and minor criteria. Once a clinical diagnosis is made, genetic testing for a PTEN mutation, a tumor suppressor gene, is recommended. Cancer surveillance should be performed for those with positive genetic testing as well as those with negative genetic testing who still meet clinical diagnostic criteria. We present two cases of Cowden syndrome: one case involving an increasing number of thyroid nodules in a patient with known Cowden syndrome and another patient with a strong family history of cancer, personal history of follicular thyroid cancer, and numerous colonic polyps on screening colonoscopy. These cases demonstrate how early diagnosis of Cowden syndrome can help detect early cancer in both the patient and affected relatives.

Learning points

  • Diagnosing Cowden syndrome helps pre-risk stratification for early cancer screening.

  • The diagnosis of Cowden syndrome can be made with a combination of major and minor criteria: any two major criteria with or without a minor criterion; one major and one minor criterion; or three minor criteria.

  • Patients who meet the diagnostic criteria for Cowden syndrome should undergo genetic screening.

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Chi-Ta Hsieh Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

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Jui-Ting Yu Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

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Tang-Yi Tsao Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
Department of Post-Baccalaureate Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

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Yao Hsien Tseng Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Tungs' Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
Department of Post-Baccalaureate Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

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Summary

A 69-year-old woman presented with weight loss, fever, dizziness, exertional dyspnea, and drenching night sweats. Imaging showed a thyroid goiter at the left lobe that measured 5.6 × 3.4 × 3.5 cm in size. On computed tomography, she was found to have large adrenal masses. Core needle biopsy of the left thyroid mass revealed the presence of a mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue extranodal marginal zone B cell lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL) typically develop in lymph nodes or other lymphatic tissues. There have been cases where the thyroid has been affected, and the secondary involvement of the adrenal gland is common. In reported cases, 7–59% of patients with NHL exhibited symptoms of thyroid dysfunction. Our patient presented no symptoms of thyroid dysfunction or Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. The patient had bilateral adrenal lymphomas that led to adrenal insufficiency. Immunochemotherapy provided a good response in this case, as seen by the rapid improvement in thyroid and adrenal mass on follow-up PET/CT.

Learning points

  • Thyroid lymphoma requires a high index of suspicion for diagnosis in patients with a rapidly growing thyroid tumor, even in the absence of chronic inflammatory thyroid disease.

  • Depending on the extent of involvement, adrenal lymphoma may rapidly cause adrenal insufficiency.

  • In the setting of acute illness, appropriate levels of plasma cortisol are often unclear, necessitating early initiation of glucocorticoid therapy based on clinical suspicion, especially when features like bilateral adrenal masses and elevated ACTH levels are present.

  • Treatment modalities include chemotherapy and radiation therapy for localized lesions, together with hormone replacement for organ dysfunction.

  • The origin of the tumor influences the clinical outcome of patients with lymphoma simultaneously involving the thyroid and adrenal glands.

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Vahab Fatourechi Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

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Amy A Swanson Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

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Robert A Lee Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA

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Summary

We report the case of a male patient with papillary thyroid cancer, familial thoracic aortic aneurysm and dissection, and a variation in the MYH11 gene. Because of considerable tumor bulk in the neck that was not resectable, the patient underwent partial resection at age 14 years. Since then, the patient has received only suppressive thyroid hormone therapy. He is now 71 years old, which is 57 years after the initial resection. The patient received care at our institution from July 2009 to August 2019, during which we documented the stability of multiple calcified masses in the neck. Follow-up examinations at another institution from September 2019 to April 2023 also confirmed the stability of the masses. The underlying cause of this unusually long indolent course of the disease is unclear. Whether extensive tumor calcifications or the MYH11 sequence variation contributed to the disease course is also uncertain.

Learning points

  • Papillary thyroid cancer with neck metastases may, in some cases, be stable and remain asymptomatic for decades.

  • If locoregional stability of papillary thyroid cancer is documented for many years, observation may be preferable to extensive neck surgery in selected cases.

  • This is the first report of an MYH11 gene alteration and thoracic aortic aneurysm in a patient with papillary thyroid cancer with indolent neck metastases.

  • Future studies of MYH11 gene alterations in thyroid carcinoma are needed.

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Yu Arai Department of Family & General Medicine, Tokyo-Kita Medical Center, Japan

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Satoru Okada Department of Family & General Medicine, Tokyo-Kita Medical Center, Japan

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Taiju Miyagami Department of General Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Juntendo University, Tokyo, Japan

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Narumi Sue Department of Family & General Medicine, Tokyo-Kita Medical Center, Japan

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Chisato Kainaga Department of Family & General Medicine, Tokyo-Kita Medical Center, Japan

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Summary

Myxoedema coma is a severe form of hypothyroidism with multiple organ dysfunction, characterised by an altered state of consciousness and hypothermia. Intravenous thyroid hormone replacement therapy is the preferred treatment for myxoedema. The mortality rate associated with this disease is high, and early detection and intervention are essential. Supraglottal myxoedema is a rare form of periglottic oedema and can be fatal. A previously healthy 66-year-old man presented with impaired consciousness, hypothermia, and nonpitting oedema. Blood tests revealed the presence of hypothyroidism and respiratory acidosis. He was intubated for type 2 respiratory failure; however, severe laryngeal oedema made the procedure difficult to perform. Oral thyroid hormone therapy was initiated under the diagnosis of myxoedema coma. Tracheostomy was performed because of prolonged type 2 respiratory failure and laryngeal oedema. Three weeks after admission, the patient was weaned off the ventilator. Approximately a week later, laryngeal oedema improved, and the tracheostomy tube was removed. The patient was discharged and remained stable for 3 months. This case report describes a patient with comatose myxoedema and supraglottic oedema who was successfully treated with oral medication alone. This case shows that supraglottic oedema should be considered even in the absence of wheezing or other signs of upper airway obstruction.

Learning points

  • Myxoedema coma is a differential diagnosis of respiratory acidosis.

  • In myxoedematous coma, the possibility of difficult intubation due to supraglottic oedema should be considered.

  • Tracheostomy should be considered for supraglottic myxoedema, which often results in prolonged ventilator use.

  • Supraglottic myxoedema can be treated with oral medications.

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John J Orrego Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA

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Joseph A Chorny Department of Pathology, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, USA

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Summary

Unlike medullary thyroid carcinomas, follicular cell-derived thyroid malignancies have rarely been associated with paraneoplastic endocrine syndromes. An ultrarare case of a middle-aged man with heavily treated broadly metastatic radioactive iodine-refractory widely invasive Hürthle cell carcinoma (HCC) of the thyroid with two synchronous paraneoplastic endocrine syndromes, T3 thyrotoxicosis and hypercalcemia of malignancy, is discussed here. The levothyroxine-induced T3 thyrotoxicosis was a gradual process that became more noticeable as the tumor burden, refractory to different modalities of therapy, expanded. The 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D-mediated hypercalcemia, on the other hand, developed in a manner of weeks, as it usually happens. It is important to emphasize that in patients with metastatic Hürthle cell and follicular carcinomas of the thyroid, on TSH suppressive therapy, the unexplained and progressive decline in FT4 and rise in FT3 levels, resulting in an elevated FT4/FT3 ratio, could be an indication of augmented type 1 (D1) and/or type 2 (D2) deiodinase expression in tumoral tissue, causing an increased conversion from the prohormone T4 into the active metabolite T3 via outer ring deiodination.

Learning points

  • Albeit extremely rare, some patients with thyroid cancer can present with more than one concomitant paraneoplastic syndrome.

  • Although medullary thyroid carcinoma is the thyroid malignancy that is usually associated with paraneoplastic endocrine syndromes, follicular cell-derived thyroid cancers have been rarely described as being the culprit.

  • In patients with metastatic Hürthle cell and follicular thyroid carcinomas, the unexplained and progressive decline in FT4 and rise in FT3 levels could be an indication of augmented type 1 (D1) and/or type 2 (D2) deiodinase expression in tumoral tissue, causing an increased conversion from T4 into T3 leading to T3 thyrotoxicosis.

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Omayma Elshafie Department of Endocrinology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Oman

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Anjali Jain Department of Nuclear Medicine, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Oman

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Summit Bichpuria Department of Radiology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Oman

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Yamina Rassou Department of Pathology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Oman

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Syed Furqan Hashmi Department of Radiation Oncology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Oman

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Abir Bou Khalil Department of Endocrinology, Sultan Qaboos Comprehensive Cancer Care and Research Centre, Muscat, Oman

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Summary

A 60-year-old woman presented to our clinic with an acute onset 3 months history of right ankle pain. The patient had a history of poorly differentiated thyroid cancer, which was treated with total thyroidectomy, left lateral neck dissection levels II–V and central neck dissection levels VI–VII followed by postoperative I-131 radioactive iodine (131I) ablation therapy 3.7 GBq 6 months ago. The post-131I WBS showed residual iodine-avid thyroid tissue with no other iodine-avid disease or metastasis. SPECT/CT of the neck and chest showed nonavid bilateral pulmonary nodules, discrete nodal masses in mediastinum and nonavid bone lesions. FDG-PET CT scan showed FDG-avid mediastinal lymph nodes (LN), innumerable non-FDG-avid subcentimetric pulmonary nodules and few FDG-avid lytic lesions in the skeleton. X-ray and MRI of the right ankle showed a well-marginated lytic lesion in the posterior body of calcaneus and 5 × 6 cm soft tissue mass lesion, respectively. The histopathology of the calcaneus mass confirmed a positive immunostaining for thyroid origin which includes thyroglobulin and TTF-1 with PAX-8. Endobronchial mediastinal and bronchial LN biopsy confirmed thyroid cancer metastasis. Gene mutation showed HRAS and GNA13 with a high tumor mutational burden. We describe a rare case of poorly differentiated thyroid cancer in a patient who presented with right ankle pain; we confirmed the cause to be a calcaneus metastasis from the thyroid cancer, with calcaneus being an extremely rare site for bone metastases. Gene mutations points toward treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Learning points

  • Poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma (PDTC) usually metastasizes to lung and bone but can rarely occur in the calcaneus.

  • Patients with distant metastases have significantly worse long-term prognosis.

  • Radiotherapy is effective in reducing the metastatic pains as well as reducing the size of the metastasis.

  • PAX-8 staining can be used to differentiate thyroid carcinomas from lung adenocarcinomas.

  • The importance of searching for gene mutations to decide the treatment of PDTC.

Open access