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J Korean Soc Endocrinol. 2005 Oct;20(5):507-512. Korean. Case Report. https://doi.org/10.3803/jkes.2005.20.5.507
Choi JW , Jeon JS , Kim NI , Kim SC , Kim SW , Myung SJ , Eum WY .
Department of Internal Medicine, Eulji Medical University, College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Abstract

Papillary carcinomas account for 85~90% of all thyroid cancers, with the tumor size considered an important prognostic factor. As the use of high-resolution ultrasonography and fine needle aspiration biopsy have increased, the diagnosis of papillary microcarcinomas of the thyroid gland; defined by the World Health Organization as being less than 1 cm in diameter, has increased. They are generally associated with an excellent prognosis, with distant metastasis being extremely rare. They usually remain clinically silent until their incidental histological diagnosis by autopsy or surgical material. The incidence discovered at autopsy varies between 3 and 36%. Cervical lymph node metastases from papillary microcarcinomas have often been discovered, which may be the first and sole manifestation of the disease, without clinical suspicion of a thyroid tumor. Herein, the case of a papillary thyroid microcarcinoma, diagnosed after a total thyroidectomy due to its first presentation as a contralateral cervical lymph node metastasis, without evidence of a clinical thyroid tumor, is described.

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