Preoperative Diagnosis of Thyroglossal Duct Cancer: A Case Report and Literature Review

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ABSTRACT

Objective: To clarify the preoperative diagnostic rate and elucidate the morphological features of thyroglossal duct cancer through a literature search on cases reported in Japan. Methods: A search of a medical database (Japan Medical Abstracts Society) identified 40 studies on thyroglossal duct cancer in Japanese patients between 1976 and 2014. A total of 47 cases, including the present case, are summarized herein. Patient characteristics, preoperative diagnosis, and morphological features were reviewed and analyzed. Morphological features of the internal portions in the cystic lesions were classified using the previously reported Yokosuka Kyosai Hospital criteria for ultrasonography findings of thyroid cystic tumors. Results: Preoperative diagnosis was described for 43 of the 47 cases. Malignancy was suspected in 18 (41.9%) of the 43 cases on the basis of fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology (presence of suspected papillary carcinoma cells) and imaging studies (presence of calcifications), 12 and 6 cases, respectively. Preoperative FNA was performed in 24 cases with a correct diagnosis obtained in only 12 (50%) cases. Morphological features were evaluated by preoperative imaging studies and/or postoperative histopathology. We found 6 cases (15%) with solid lesions, 32 cases (80%) with cystic lesions containing a solid part, and 2 cases (5%) with solo cystic lesions, respectively. Calcification was observed in 28 (72.5%) cases. We further examined the internal morphology of 32 cases with cystic lesions according to the criteria for ultrasonography findings of thyroid cystic tumors described in Methods. Of the 32 cases, 25 (62.5%) and 7 (17.5%) were classified as “eccentric acute angle type (Ea)” and “multiseptate type (M)”, respectively. The boundary between the solid part and the cystic part was irregular in all 7 “M” cases. No “eccentric and blunt angle type (Eb)” or “concentric type (C)” lesions were observed. Conclusions: The preoperative diagnostic rate for thyroglossal duct cancer using FNA is low, and it is important that diagnosis be performed in conjunction with imaging findings. The presence of solid parts or calcified lesions classified as “Ea” or “M with irregular boundaries” on the basis of imaging findings is suggestive of malignancy.

Cite this paper

Suzuki, A. , Suzuki, K. , Mori, Y. , Fujita, Y. , Hatano, T. and Oridate, N. (2015) Preoperative Diagnosis of Thyroglossal Duct Cancer: A Case Report and Literature Review. International Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, 4, 196-203. doi: 10.4236/ijohns.2015.43033.

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