Schwannoma of the thyroid bed: A case report and review of the literature

Medicine (Baltimore). 2020 Jan;99(5):e18814. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000018814.


Rationale: Schwannomas involving the thyroid gland are very rare and only a few cases have been reported in the literature. However, previous reports did not distinguish between thyroid bed schwannomas and intrathyroidal schwannomas. Here, we report a thyroid bed schwannoma mimicking a malignant thyroid nodule and review the literature on thyroid bed schwannomas.

Patient concerns: A 33-year-old woman presented at our hospital with mild neck swelling.

Diagnosis: Thyroid ultrasound revealed a well-defined, oval-shaped, markedly hypoechoic solid nodule with echogenic foci suggesting macro- and microcalcifications in the left thyroid gland. The lesion was considered a "highly suspicious" intrathyroidal nodule, based on the guidelines for the assessment of thyroid nodules. Fine needle aspiration was performed twice, but the cytological results were nondiagnostic.

Interventions: Left thyroidectomy was performed, and schwannoma of the thyroid bed was confirmed on histopathologic analysis.

Outcomes: The patient was in a stable condition after surgery, and the thyroid function test results were within the normal range.

Lessons: Diagnosis of a schwannoma of the thyroid bed is challenging because its incidence is extremely low, and it is often misdiagnosed as an intrathyroidal nodule on ultrasonography. Therefore, it is advisable to adopt a diagnostic strategy to perform additional core needle biopsy in cases of thyroid nodules with nondiagnostic fine needle aspiration results and to consider the location of the lesion more carefully to determine the suitable therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Neck / pathology*
  • Neurilemmoma / pathology*