Issued for the Endocrine Society by the Williams & Wilkins Co.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism vol:87 issue:4 pages:1517-20
Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) whole body positron emission tomography (PET) scan is increasingly used in the diagnostic work-up or follow-up of patients. In these conditions, positive PET scans with unexpected hot spots within the thyroid region could be defined as thyroid FDG-PET incidentaloma (in analogy with unexpected sonographic thyroid nodules). We describe eight consecutive patients referred to the endocrine department because of thyroid "hot spots," incidentally detected by whole body FDG-PET scan (September 1999 to March 2001). Using ultrasound, fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC), and histology reports, we tried to identify the pathology underlying thyroid FDG-PET incidentaloma. FNAC showed an indication for surgery in all patients. Surgery has been performed in 7 patients. Malignancy was correctly identified in five patients: two medullary thyroid carcinomas, one with lymph node invasion, and three papillary thyroid carcinomas with invasion through the thyroid capsule in two of the PTC cases. In two patients with a positive FDG-PET scan, FNAC pointed to follicular neoplasms, and final histology reports showed follicular adenoma. In the remaining patient, FNAC revealed a follicular lesion, but surgery has not yet been performed. In conclusion, a small series of consecutive thyroid FDG-PET incidentaloma cases is presented and suggests a high rate of clinically relevant malignancies.