Preoperatively diagnosed case with co-existence of papillary thyroid carcinoma and cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis

Int J Surg Case Rep. 2015;15:74-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijscr.2015.08.026. Epub 2015 Aug 18.


Introduction: Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) is the most frequent histological subtype of thyroid cancer. The lymph node metastasis is found in a high proportion of patients with PTC at the time of surgery. In contrast, tuberculous lymphadenitis remains a common cause of cervical lymphadenopathy in Asian countries.

Presentation of case: We present a 60-year-old woman with coexistence of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) and cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis and to show the usefulness of fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) and quantiferon testing to distinguish a lymph node metastasis of PTC from tuberculous lymphadenitis.

Discussion: FNAB and quantiferon testing are useful tools to check if enlargement of cervical lymph node is due to tuberculous infection, and a surgical plan should be carefully determined to avoid unnecessary surgical complications and the spread of tuberculous infection.

Conclusion: The coexistence of cervical tuberculosis should be considered in the etiology of an enlarged lymph node for patients with PTC.

Keywords: Cervical tuberculous lymphadenitis; FNAB; Infection control; Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Quantiferon testing.