Endocrine Pathology

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 55–64 | Cite as

Unusual Thyroid Carcinoma Metastases: a Case Series and Literature Review

  • Eleonora Farina
  • Fabio MonariEmail author
  • Giovanni Tallini
  • Andrea Repaci
  • Renzo Mazzarotto
  • Francesca Giunchi
  • Riccardo Panzacchi
  • Silvia Cammelli
  • Gilbert D. A. Padula
  • Francesco Deodato
  • Renato Pasquali
  • Stefano Fanti
  • Michelangelo Fiorentino
  • Alessio G. Morganti


The most common sites of metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer are the neck lymph nodes, while distant metastases typically involve the lungs, the bones, and less frequently the brain. Uncommon metastatic sites include the liver, adrenal gland, kidney, pancreas, and skin. The epidemiological aspects of thyroid metastases in rare sites are largely unknown and their identification could have a significant impact on patients management. A mini-series of unusual metastatic sites of thyroid carcinoma is proposed as a contribution to current knowledge on anatomopathological characteristics and clinical outcome. Of the six cases that were assessed, the metastases were the following: skin metastases (2), skin and pancreas metastases (1), renal metastasis (1), adrenal metastasis (1), and liver metastasis (1). In our experience, metastases in rare sites do not always represent a negative prognostic factor for disease outcome. In fact they can occur as single distant lesion and if surgically resectable, their treatment can also lead to local disease remission.


Thyroid cancer Cutaneous metastasis Pancreatic metastasis Renal metastasis Adrenal metastasis Liver metastasis 



The authors are grateful to Milly Buwenge B.Sc. for reviewing the manuscript and to Paolo Cipressi and Cinzia Giacometti for their contribution in graphic art.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The manuscript has no funding.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the local Ethics Committee.

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eleonora Farina
    • 1
  • Fabio Monari
    • 1
    Email author
  • Giovanni Tallini
    • 2
  • Andrea Repaci
    • 3
  • Renzo Mazzarotto
    • 4
  • Francesca Giunchi
    • 5
  • Riccardo Panzacchi
    • 6
  • Silvia Cammelli
    • 1
  • Gilbert D. A. Padula
    • 7
  • Francesco Deodato
    • 8
  • Renato Pasquali
    • 3
  • Stefano Fanti
    • 9
  • Michelangelo Fiorentino
    • 5
  • Alessio G. Morganti
    • 1
  1. 1.Radiation Oncology Center, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine–DIMESUniversity of Bologna, S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Anatomic Pathology, Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine–DIMESBellaria Hospital, University of BolognaBolognaItaly
  3. 3.Division of EndocrinologyUniversity of Bologna, S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  4. 4.Radiotherapy UnitAzienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata, Ospedale Civile MaggioreVeronaItaly
  5. 5.Pathology Unit of the “F. Addarii” Institute of Oncology, Department of Oncology and HematologyUniversity of Bologna, S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  6. 6.Department of PathologyUniversity of Bologna, S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly
  7. 7.Radiation Oncology Department, The Lacks Cancer CenterSaint Mary’s Health CareGrand RapidsUSA
  8. 8.Radiation Oncology Unit, Fondazione “Giovanni Paolo II”Catholic University of Sacred HeartCampobassoItaly
  9. 9.Nuclear Medicine UnitUniversity of Bologna, S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBolognaItaly

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