Familial adenomatous polyposis (Gardner's syndrome) and thyroid carcinoma. A case report and review of the literature

Dig Dis Sci. 1993 Jan;38(1):185-90. doi: 10.1007/BF01296795.


The case history of a 24-year-old woman with Gardner's syndrome [familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)] and papillary thyroid carcinoma is presented, representing the 37th report of this association. Although FAP is transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait with similar penetrance in both sexes, thyroid carcinoma has been found almost exclusively in women (94.3%). The majority have been papillary carcinomas (88.5%), which have become apparent during the third decade (average 23.6, range 16-40 years). Most (55.5%) thyroid carcinomas have been discovered 1-17 years after FAP was identified, although some have been found before (29.6%), or at the same time (14.8%) FAP was diagnosed. Multicentric papillary carcinomas have been reported in 64% (14 of 22) of FAP patients, a frequency at least twofold greater than usual. Although papillary carcinoma found before age 30 (as it was in most patients with FAP) typically has an excellent prognosis, one patient with FAP developed distant metastases from thyroid carcinoma and a 28-year-old woman's death was attributed to papillary carcinoma. The high frequency of multicentric papillary thyroid carcinoma in young patients with FAP and the potential for metastases and death due to thyroid carcinoma warrant aggressive diagnostic screening at regular intervals with neck palpation, ultrasonography, and if necessary, fine-needle aspiration biopsy. When thyroid carcinoma is found, total or near-total thyroidectomy should be considered because of the tumor's high likelihood of being multifocal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / complications*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Female
  • Gardner Syndrome / complications*
  • Gardner Syndrome / pathology
  • Humans
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / complications*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology