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Acta Chir Iugosl. 2003;50(3):141-6.

[Lymphoma and other rare malignant tumors of the thyroid].

[Article in Serbian]

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Centar za endokrinu hirurgiju Institut za endokrinologiju i bolesti metabolizma KCS, Beograd.


Primary thyroid lymphomas are rare. Surgery is seldom indicated. The aim of the study is to find out the main characteristics of primary thyroid lymphomas in our patients, indications for surgery and the possibility of treatment. frequency and characteristics of rare thyroid tumors.


Retrospective study of 1044 patient operated for malignant thyroid tumor.


From 1995 to may 2003. We operated upon 15 patients with primary thyroid lymphomas. 2 men and 13 women mean age of 50.12 years (from 22 to 74 years), also one patient of age 69 with insular thyroid cancer. Reason for surgery was thyroid tumor in all, compressive disturbances in 9, among them 4 with asphyxia. Radical total thyroidectomy was performed in 4 (26.7%), whole in others some residual tumor tissue was could not be removed in spite of thyroidectomy in 3, hemithyroidectomy in 2, tumor debulking in 5 and only open biopsy was performed in one patient. There was no operative mortality. no postoperative hypocalcaemia and no recurrent nerve palsy. Histological type of tumor was Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 13 patients, Hodgkin disease in 2 female patients of age 22 and 24. Hashimoto thyroiditis was present in 3 patients. After surgery, 13 patients were treated with chemotherapy, one patient died one month after the operation and one patient refused chemotherapy. Follow-up data are available for 9 patients and the mean follow-up period was 20 months (1-48 months). Three patients died after a month, 2 and 3 years after surgery. Six patients are without local relapse. In one patient who refused chemotherapy, a year after thyroid surgery, resection of large intestine was performed because of lymphoma of the colon.


Malignant thyroid lymphomas are rare. They present with rapidly growing thyroid tumor, compression and asphyxia. Surgery is only temporarily effective and it is necessary to start with chemo-radiotherapy as soon as possible. Rare forms of thyroid cancer have to be histologically recognised in order to choose the best way of treatment.

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