Solitary lung metastasis found nine years after surgery for a thyroid tumor

Shuen Fu Weng, Kuo Meng Liao, Deng Huang Su, Tsuey Lian Mao, Tien Chun Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thyroid follicular carcinoma and follicular adenoma are indistinguishable cytologically, thus they are grouped togeter as follicular neoplasms. The diagnosis of follicular carcinoma depends on either vascular or capsular invasion histologically. Follicular carcinoma often invades blood vessels, and hematological spreading is the usual metastatic route. We presented a 66-year-old man receiving subtotal thyroidectomy for nodular goiter, which was diagnosed as follicular adenoma pathologically. One tumor over right lower posterior lung field was noted incidentally 9 years after the operation. Computerized tomography guided lung biopsy for the tumor revealed thyroid tissue. We reviewed the previous pathological specimen of thyroid nodule and found vascular invasion, The previous diagnosis should be modified as thyroid follicular carcinoma, and the new pulmonary lesion was a distant metastasis. The patient received radioactive iodine and long-term thyroxine treatment. In this case, both the lung metastasis found 9 years after surgery for a thyroid nodule and the lung metastasis presenting as a solitary tumor are rare presentations of follicular carcinoma. For a follicular neoplasm, detailed pathological examination to detect the possible vascular or capsular invasion is important to avoid the possibility of follicular carcinoma misdiagnosed as follicular adenoma. Follicular carcinoma often recurs with distant metastasis. Metastasis of follicular carcinoma should be the first impression when a tumor is found in a patient with history of follicular carcinoma or follicular adenoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-288
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Internal Medicine of Taiwan
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Lung metastasis
  • Thyroid follicular adenoma
  • Thyroid follicular carcinoma
  • Thyroid follicular neoplasm

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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