Metastatic renal cell carcinoma in the thyroid gland: Ultrasonographic features and the diagnostic role of core needle biopsy

Ok Kyu Song, Ja Seung Koo, Jin Young Kwak, Hee Jung Moon, Jung Hyun Yoon, Eun Kyung Kim

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The aims of this study were to present the ultrasonographic (US) features of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the thyroid gland and to evaluate the diagnostic utility of fineneedle aspiration (FNA) and core needle biopsy (CNB). Methods: Eight patients with nine metastatic RCC nodules in the thyroid glands who were treated from January 2002 to March 2015 in a single tertiary hospital were consecutively selected and retrospectively reviewed. US features and clinical history were obtained from the institution’s medical database. FNA was performed nine times on eight nodules and CNB was performed six times on six nodules. The diagnostic utility of FNA and CNB was evaluated. Results: All nine nodules showed mass formation without diffuse thyroid involvement. On ultrasonography, metastatic RCC nodules were solid (100%), hypoechoic (100%), and ovalshaped nodules with a well-defined smooth margin (88.9%) and increased vascularity (100%, with 55% showing extensive vascularity). No calcifications were noted in any nodules. Lymph node metastasis and direct extension to nearby structures beyond the thyroid gland were not found. One FNA (11%) was able to confirm metastatic RCC, whereas all six CNBs confirmed metastatic RCC. Conclusion: Metastatic RCC appears as oval-shaped hypoechoic solid nodules with well-defined smooth margins, no calcifications, and increased vascularity on ultrasonography. Characteristic US features along with a previous history of RCC should raise clinical suspicion, and CNB should be performed to make an accurate diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-259
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Korean Society of Ultrasound in Medicine (KSUM).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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