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Medicine (Baltimore). 2017 Dec;96(50):e8730. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000008730.

Pycnodysostosis with novel gene mutation and sporadic medullary thyroid carcinoma: A case report.

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Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes.
Xiamen Diabetes Institute, The First Affiliated Hospital of Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, China.



Pycnodysostosis is a rare autosomal recessive skeletal dysplasia caused by a mutation in the cathepsin K encoded by cathepsin K gene (CTSK). Medullary thyroid carcinoma (MTC) is also a relatively rare type of primary thyroid carcinoma.


A 31-year-old woman presenting a short stature and a palpable nodule in the front of her neck that had gradually increased in size during the last 2 years was referred to our department. She has experienced multiple fractures at lower limbs in the last 2 decades.


The patient's clinical examination revealed short stature, underweight, a prominent forehead, stubby fingers, and a fixed nodule in the right thyroid lobe. Intraoral examination revealed multiple clinically malposed and missing teeth, as well as chronic periodontitis with a narrow and grooved palate. Radiographic examination revealed typical widely separated cranial sutures and an open anterior/posterior fontanel with an obtuse gonial angle, acroosteolysis, and osteosclerosis with narrowed medullary cavities. Ultrasonography of the thyroid gland showed a marked hypoechoic solid nodule in the right lobe in which tumor cell clusters were confirmed by ultrasound-guided fine needle aspiration biopsy and was suspected to be MTC. Laboratory tests revealed dramatically elevated serum calcitonin >2000 pg/L (reference range: 0-5 pg/L) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) 134.37 ng/mL (reference range: 0-5 ng/mL). Genotypic screening revealed compound heterozygous mutations in the CTSK gene (c.158delA, P.Asn53Thr/c.C830T, P.Ala277Val) but no mutation associated with the familial forms of MTC.


The patient underwent a total thyroidectomy with right-sided functional neck dissection.


CEA and serum calcitonin decreased significantly postthyroidectomy, and no further fracture has been reported by the patient so far.


The present study is the first to report a rare case of the coexistence of pycnodysostosis with a compound CTSK gene mutation and sporadic MTC. Radiological techniques and gene analysis play key roles in the definitive diagnosis.

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