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Surg Today. 2007;37(4):311-5. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

Axillary lymph node metastasis from papillary thyroid carcinoma: report of a case.

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Department of Surgery, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, 236-0004, Japan.


We report a case of axillary lymph node metastasis (LNM) from papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) in a 21-year-old man. The patient presented with bilateral cervical and right axillary lymphadenopathy, and computed tomography (CT) showed a primary tumor of the thyroid and gross lymphadenopathy from the neck to the right axilla. We performed a total thyroidectomy with therapeutic nodal dissection. The resection of the primary thyroid tumor and all the node metastases was curative. Pathological examination confirmed that the resected lesions were PTC and nodal metastases from the primary tumor. Six years after the operation, cervical, upper mediastinal, and axillary lymph node recurrence developed and multiple lung metastases were found on a CT scan. He was treated with radioactive iodine therapy. Axillary LNM from PTC is unusual and seems to be associated with a poor prognosis. Thus, comprehensive treatment strategies are needed to improve the outcome of patients with PTC who present with axillary LNM.

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