J Korean Thyroid Assoc.  2012 Nov;5(2):157-160. 10.11106/jkta.2012.5.2.157.

Two Cases of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Masquerading as Metastatic Papillary Thyroid Cancer

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Chungnam National University College of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. yjparkmd@snu.ac.kr
  • 3Department of Pathology Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Papillary thyroid carcinoma and primary lung cancer have vastly different treatment approaches and prognosis. If lung mass is found in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma, we have to be aware of the possibility of primary lung cancer especially when the lesion is not iodine-avid, or is not typical to metastatic thyroid carcinoma, or serum thyroglobulin is not elevated. Here we present two cases of non-small cell lung cancer masquerading as metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma and think of the approach of the lung mass which is found in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma.


Nepolasm metastasis; Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Non-small-cell lung carcinoma

MeSH Terms

Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung
Lung Neoplasms
Thyroid Gland
Thyroid Neoplasms
Thyroid Neoplasms


  • Fig. 1 (A) 0.9 cm sized hypoechoic nodule at the operation bed (arrow) was found on neck ultrasonogram. (B) Chest CT showed 2.4 cm sized nodule (arrow) in left upper lobe lingular division. (C) Bone scan revealed multiple increased uptake in skull, T-L spines, both ribs, left scapula, left humerus, left radius, left pelvic bone and left femur. (D) The lung biopsy was diagnosed as primary well-differentiated adenocarcinoma (H&E stain, ×200).

  • Fig. 2 (A) Neck ultrasonography showed metastatic lymph nodes (arrow) in left neck level VI. (B) L-spine MRI showed L2 compression fracture (arrow). (C) Chest CT showed diffuse irregular pleural thickening with pleural masses (arrow) in left hemithorax. (D) The lung needle biopsy was non small cell carcinoma focally showing gland-forming features, which was suggestive of adenocarcinoma of lung (H&E stain, ×400).


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