Merkel cell carcinoma metastatic to the thyroid gland: Aspiration findings and differential diagnosis

Lisa Stoll, Shiyama Mudali, Syed Z Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Clinically diagnosed metastasis to the thyroid gland is exceptionally rare and may present diagnostic issues on fine needle aspiration. The most common primary sites of metastases to the thyroid are cancers of the lung, breast, skin (especially melanoma), colon, and kidney. Herein, we report a case of metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma to the thyroid presenting as a 2.1-cm solid nodule in a 50-year-old male with a previous history of Merkel cell carcinoma of the upper extremity. The aspirates were moderately to highly cellular featuring small to intermediate sized cells with scant to no cytoplasm, round-to-oval nuclei with finely dispersed chromatin, and predominantly arranged as scattered single cells. There was focal nuclear molding, numerous mitoses, and karyorrhectic nuclei. The differential diagnosis centered on the "small round blue cell" tumor group such as medullary thyroid carcinoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. However, in light of our patient's previous history, the FNA findings were most consistent with a metastasis of Merkel cell carcinoma. In patients with a known history of a primary neoplasm, the differential diagnosis of a thyroid nodule should always include potential metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-757
Number of pages4
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Volume38
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2010

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Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Thyroid Gland
Differential Diagnosis
Neoplasm Metastasis
Thyroid Nodule
Fine Needle Biopsy
Thyroid Neoplasms
Mitosis
Upper Extremity
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
Chromatin
Melanoma
Lung Neoplasms
Neoplasms
Colon
Cytoplasm
Breast Neoplasms
Kidney
Skin

Keywords

  • Cytopathology
  • FNA
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Metastasis
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

Cite this

Merkel cell carcinoma metastatic to the thyroid gland : Aspiration findings and differential diagnosis. / Stoll, Lisa; Mudali, Shiyama; Ali, Syed Z.

In: Diagnostic Cytopathology, Vol. 38, No. 10, 10.2010, p. 754-757.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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