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Clinical Problem Solving: Pathology
March 1, 2008

Pathology Quiz Case 1: Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2008;134(3):335. doi:

Primary mucoepidermoid carcinomas (MECs) of the thyroid gland are extremely rare neoplasms, with fewer than 35 cases reported, to our knowledge.1Mucoepidermoid carcinomas are typically found in salivary tissue, although they have been reported in the larynx, esophagus, breasts, and lungs.2Like MECs of salivary tissue, MECs of the thyroid contain both epidermoid and mucinous elements. In 1991, Chan et al3described a pathologic variant of MEC of the thyroid gland, termed SMECE, as a distinctive low-grade carcinoma of the thyroid gland. There have been even fewer reports of this malignant neoplasm: 23, to date.4

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