Background: Liver metastases of differentiated thyroid cancers (DTC) are uncommon. Surgery has proven to be effective in patients with 131I-negative hepatic lesions. Here, we present two patients who underwent liver resection for metastatic DTC.
Case presentation: The first patient is a 36-year-old woman who reported with 70-mm hepatic metastases of papillary thyroid cancer. After primary treatment of cancer, she was disease-free for 8 years when the elevation of TSH levels resulted for the need to search for metastasis. Notably, the 131I SPECT did not show any lesions. The CT scan revealed an 80mm diameter mass in the liver. Histology confirmed metastasis of thyroid cancer. Lack of iodine uptake and the size of lesion excluded treatment with radioactive iodine. Radical resection of the metastasis was performed with good short- and long-term postoperative result. The second patient is a 65-year-old man previously treated for follicular thyroid cancer. When a iodine-negative 70mm diameter metastasis was detected within the liver, he was referred for surgery. Extended right hepatectomy was performed. In a 12-months follow-up, he remained stable, with no signs of recurrence.
Conclusions: These two cases show that resection of hepatic metastases of DTC is an option even in the case of large lesions. Given the effectiveness and safety of liver surgery, we reckon that it should be the treatment of choice when possible. The decision to perform surgical treatment should be based on analysis of the ability to perform radical and safe resection.
Keywords: iodine negative; liver surgery; thyroid neoplasms.