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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.

Open access
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.

Open access
Isabella Chiardi Thyroid Unit of Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology, Lugano Regional Hospital, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland
Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Humanitas University, Rozzano, Milan, Italy

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Priska Gaffuri Istituto Cantonale di Patologia, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland

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Andrea Leoncini Servizio di Radiologia e Radiologia Interventistica, Istituto di Imaging Della Svizzera Italiana (IIMSI), Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland

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Pierpaolo Trimboli Thyroid Unit of Clinic for Endocrinology and Diabetology, Lugano Regional Hospital, Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale, Bellinzona, Switzerland
Faculty of Biomedical Sciences, Università della Svizzera Italiana (USI), Lugano, Switzerland

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Summary

Thyroid metastases from nonthyroidal malignancies (NTMs) represent a diagnostic challenge, often displaying heterogeneous clinical manifestations. These metastases are rare but significant, accounting for approximately 2% of thyroid malignancies. Distinguishing them from primary thyroid malignancies is challenging due to the lack of specific ultrasound features, and the ultrasound-based risk stratification systems offer limited utility in such cases. Fine needle aspiration cytology is crucial for definitive diagnosis, yet it may not always provide accurate results. In this case report, we describe a unique instance of thyroid metastases originating from renal cell carcinoma, emphasizing the complexities in diagnosis and the importance of considering oncological conditions when assessing thyroid masses. Awareness of thyroid metastasis from NTMs, particularly in cases of diffuse thyroid hypoechogenicity and hypothyroidism, is essential for clinicians in their diagnostic approach.

Learning points

  • Thyroid metastases from nonthyroidal malignancies are diagnostic challenges due to their heterogeneous clinical presentations, often mimicking primary thyroid malignancies.

  • Thyroid metastases from nonthyroidal malignancies are relatively rare, but they still account for approximately 2% of thyroid malignancies.

  • It is fundamental to consider oncological conditions when assessing thyroid masses, especially in cases of diffuse thyroid hypoechogenicity, hypothyroidism, and history of other tumors.

  • Thyroid presentation is quite similar to that of autoimmune hypothyroidism, endocrinologists must be aware of the possibility of thyroid hypofunction due to the massive invasion of the parenchyma.