Papillary thyroid carcinoma is the commonest thyroid cancer. Patients usually present with thyroid nodule and rarely with hyperthyroidism such that 2009 ATA guidelines recommended that cytological evaluation is not necessary in patients with hyperfunctioning nodules as they rarely harbor malignancy. We report a case of an unusual presentation of metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma in a young patient.
A 17-year-old girl, presented to our hospital with 3 days of fever, cough and hemoptysis. Chest X-ray showed extensive miliary nodules and was treated for presumed miliary tuberculosis. Biochemical investigations revealed a hyperthyroid state (fT4 55.7 TSH < 0.02), with negative antibodies (TRAB and TSI). Radioisotope scan showed increased uptake on right lobe. She underwent bronchoscopy and biopsy which revealed metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma.
Clinical examination revealed a small goiter with palpable cervical node at level III on the left. There were no clinical signs of Graves’ disease and she had no history of previous radiation or family history of endocrine disease. Ultrasound revealed multiple hypodense thyroid nodules with microcalcification and increased vascularity. Ultrasound of the neck showed the presence of abnormal lymphadenopathy.
She underwent total thyroidectomy, bilateral central neck dissection and left lateral modified neck dissection. Histology showed 1.3 cm papillary thyroid carcinoma involving the left lobe and multifocal papillary thyroid microcarcinomas involving both lobes. Ten out of 27 nodes were involved. She was BRAF mutation positive.
She recovered well postoperatively and was rendered hypothyroid. She underwent radioiodine ablation which showed no more disease in the neck but unfortunately there was no uptake in the lung metastases.
Metastatic papillary thyroid cancer developing in a young patient with hyperthyroidism is extremely rare and suggests a more aggressive behavior as confirmed by BRAF mutation.
How to cite this article
Hu JSL, Parameswaran R. A Case of Miliary Nodules, Hemoptysis and Hot Thyroid Cancer: Unusual Presentation of Papillary Thyroid Cancer. World J Endoc Surg 2015;7(3):72-75.