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Synchronous mucoepidermoid carcinoma and papillary microcarcinomas of the thyroid gland
  1. Keshav Kumar Gupta1,
  2. George Garas1,
  3. Jonathan Wilkes2 and
  4. Mriganka De1
  1. 1Head & Neck Surgical Oncology Unit, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Department of Histopathology, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Keshav Kumar Gupta; Keshav.Gupta{at}


Thyroid mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) is a rare thyroid malignancy first documented in 1977. The majority of thyroid MECs are indolent, low-grade tumours with excellent prognosis. A woman in her 60s presented with an ongoing sensation of a lump in the left neck. There were no swallowing, voice or airway concerns. Ultrasound of the neck showed an enlarged thyroid with U5 and U3 features on the right and left lobes, respectively. Right fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) demonstrated certain features of Hurthle cell or anaplastic carcinoma (Thy5). Left FNAC showed Hurthle cell changes with atypical cells and prominent nucleoli (Thy3a). Following total thyroidectomy, histopathology revealed synchronous right low-grade MEC and left papillary thyroid microcarcinomas (pT2(m) N0 M0) on a background of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. This case adds to the literature and details the key histopathological features for a rare but important differential in patients with thyroid carcinoma due to synchronous histological types.

  • Ear, nose and throat/otolaryngology
  • Endocrine cancer
  • Pathology
  • Surgery
  • Head and neck surgery

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  • Contributors All authors were involved in conceptualisation and methodology. KKG and GG performed the investigation and data curation. KKG and JW performed the writing of the original draft. All authors reviewed and edited the final version of the article. MD performed the overall project supervision.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.