Mönckeberg sclerosis in patients with thyroid papillary carcinoma

Endocr Oncol. 2024 May 2;4(1):e230047. doi: 10.1530/EO-23-0047. eCollection 2024 Jan 1.


Background: Mönckeberg sclerosis is a form of calcification of the tunica media of small and medium size arteries. It occurs more often in the peripheral arteries of the lower limbs and it has been associated with diabetes and renal disease. Although there are a few reports of Mönckeberg sclerosis in thyroid vessels, there are no data regarding its significance in thyroid disease.

Objective: The aim was to investigate the possible prognostic value of Mönckeberg sclerosis in thyroid vessels of patients with diagnosed thyroid cancer.

Methods: We retrospectively studied patients with papillary thyroid cancer treated at the Theagenio Hospital of Thessaloniki from 2005 to 2021. The patients were divided into two groups based on the presence, or absence, of histopathological findings of Mönckeberg sclerosis in the thyroid vessels along with papillary thyroid cancer. Patient characteristics, histopathological details, personal history of thyroid disease, and metabolic parameters were compared between the two groups.

Results: Thirty-three patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma and Mönckeberg sclerosis were identified and matched to 33 controls with papillary thyroid cancer, without evidence of Mönckeberg sclerosis. The metabolic profile of patients with Mönckeberg sclerosis was not significantly different from those who did not have Mönckeberg sclerosis. Moreover, the comparison between the two groups did not reveal any remarkable differences in terms of the aggressiveness of the disease.

Conclusion: The presence of Mönckeberg sclerosis does not seem to impact on histological characteristics of patients with papillary thyroid cancer.

Keywords: Mönckeberg medial sclerosis; papillary thyroid cancer; thyroid.