Concurrent metastases of papillary thyroid carcinoma to the scalp and Meckel's cave

Patrick S. Phelan, Jamie L. Mull, Mohamed Z. Rajput, Amy C. Musiek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the case of a 65-year-old man with severe headaches and unilateral facial weakness, seen in consultation by the dermatology service to rule out primary cutaneous melanoma after brain imaging identified an enlarging mass within the right trigeminal (Meckel's) cave. Examination revealed only a pair of erythematous papules on the scalp, for which biopsy demonstrated metastatic papillary thyroid carcinoma. Further evaluation and subsequent thyroidectomy confirmed the origin of widespread internal disease, followed by definitive excision of scalp lesions and multimodal management of systemic involvement. Whereas presentation of metastasis to the skin is highly variable, a low threshold for biopsy may allow for histological identification of internal disease not otherwise considered in the clinical differential.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberbcr-2017-222552
JournalBMJ Case Reports
StatePublished - 2018


  • dermatology
  • endocrine cancer


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