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Clinical Problem Solving: Radiology
December 2004

Radiology Quiz Case 1—Diagnosis

Author Affiliations


Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130(12):1446. doi:10.1001/archotol.130.12.1446

Thyroid cancer mainly consists of papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic variants, with proportions estimated at 78%, 13%, 4%, and 2%, respectively.1 The remaining 3% of thyroid carcinomas include lymphoma, sarcoma, metastatic lesions, and Hürthle cell tumor (a variant of follicular carcinoma that is not radioiodine avid). Cancer of the thyroid gland can occur at any age, but the majority of patients are elderly, particularly those with the follicular, medullary, or anaplastic type.2 Papillary thyroid carcinoma usually affects young adults, with a female-male ratio of 4:1. A small percentage of patients (4%) develop distance metastases to bone, lungs, and liver.3 Rarely, the presence of distant metastases may be the only manifestation of thyroid cancer.3

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