Hürthle cell thyroid carcinoma presenting as a "hot" nodule

Naga M. Yalla, L. Raymond Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To report an unusual clinical scenario and a rare histopathologic finding of Hürthle cell thyroid carcinoma in a patient with an autonomous thyroid nodule. Methods: We describe the presentation and clinical course leading to the surprising histopathologic diagnosis of Hürthle cell carcinoma in a pediatric patient who was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism presenting as a solitary toxic nodule. Results: A 13-year-old white girl presented with a recent history of a palpable thyroid nodule during a routine primary care clinic visit. She was asymptomatic, and thyroid function tests revealed a suppressed thyrotropin concentration, high-normal free thyroxine concentration, and elevated triiodothyronine concentration. The patient underwent dedicated thyroid ultrasonography revealing a 3.5-cm complex mass in the left lobe with increased central vascularity. Iodine 123 imaging of the thyroid demonstrated homogenous, hyperintense activity in the left lobe. The right lobe was not visualized. A solitary toxic nodule was diagnosed, and, considering her age, she was referred for surgical management. The patient underwent a left lobectomy with isthmusectomy. Pathologic examination revealed a 5-cm, encapsulated, well-differentiated Hürthle cell carcinoma with negative margins and no lymphovascular invasion. The patient underwent subsequent completion thyroidectomy with no evidence of residual carcinoma in the right thyroid lobe. Conclusions: Malignancy in autonomously functioning thyroid nodules is rare. Most of the thyroid nodules presenting as "hot" on radioiodine scintigraphy are benign follicular adenomas. However, this case represents a rare clinical entity, and it highlights the need for clinicians to be vigilant and aware that occasionally carcinomas can masquerade as scintigraphic "hot" nodules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e68-e72
JournalEndocrine Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2011


Dive into the research topics of 'Hürthle cell thyroid carcinoma presenting as a "hot" nodule'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this