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Table of Contents
BRIEF COMMUNICATION
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 155-156

An unusual cause of progressive quadriparesis


1 Department of Endocrinology, Command Hospital (Air Force), Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Neurosurgery, Command Hospital (Air Force), Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Neurology, Command Hospital (Air Force), Bangalore, Karnataka, India
4 Department of Histpoatholgy, Command Hospital (Air Force), Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2013

Correspondence Address:
Vimal Upreti
Department of Endocrinology, Command Hospital (Air Force), Bangalore - 560 007, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2230-8210.119555

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   Abstract 

Thyroid carcinoma is a rare cause of compressive myelopathy. Quadriparesis as the presenting manifestation of follicular carcinoma of thyroid without any preceding features of malignancy is quite uncommon. We describe a case of a 55-year-old woman who presented with progressive quadriparesis of 2 months duration, on evaluation was found to have a large tumor destroying C1, C2 vertebrae and occupying craniovertebral junction. Histopathological examination of excised tumor was follicular thyroid carcinoma. She was successfully managed with surgical excision, stabilization of spine followed by radiotherapy.

Keywords: Follicular thyroid cancer, metastasis, quadriparesis


How to cite this article:
Upreti V, Sridhar M S, Dhull P, Sen A. An unusual cause of progressive quadriparesis. Indian J Endocr Metab 2013;17, Suppl S1:155-6

How to cite this URL:
Upreti V, Sridhar M S, Dhull P, Sen A. An unusual cause of progressive quadriparesis. Indian J Endocr Metab [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Feb 23];17, Suppl S1:155-6. Available from: http://www.ijem.in/text.asp?2013/17/7/155/119555


   Introduction Top


Metastatic cancers commonly associated with cord compression include breast, lung and prostate. Thyroid carcinoma as a cause of compressive myelopathy is extremely rare and described as isolated case reports in the literature. Quadriparesis as the presenting manifestation of follicular carcinoma of thyroid without any preceding features of malignancy is quite uncommon. [1] we describe one such case of a 55 years old lady who presented with progressive quadriparesis, was later diagnosed as metastatic follicular thyroid carcinoma and managed successfully with combination of surgery followed by radiotherapy.


   Case Report Top


A 55-year-old lady presented with complaints of neck pain for past 1 year and progressive quadriparesis of 2 months duration and was bed ridden at presentation. There was no history suggestive of lower cranial palsies or sphincteric abnormalities. She underwent surgery for multinodular goiter 15 years ago. Clinically, her vital signs were stable and general physical examination was non-contributory. Neurologically she was conscious, alert with involvement of lower cranial nerves (absent gag reflex and wasting of sternocleidomastoid and trapezius). However, there was no facial sensory loss or Horner's syndrome. Motor examination revealed spasticity of all four limbs. Power was grade 2/5 power proximally and 1/5 distally in left upper limb; whereas, it was grade 0/5 in all other limbs and there was weakness of neck and trunk muscles. Graded loss of all modalities of sensation was noted from C3 dermatome downward without sacral sparing. Examination of neck showed a pulsatile swelling in the right retromastoid region, well-healed scar of previous surgery and solitary nodule in the right lobe of the thyroid. Investigations revealed normal hemogram, biochemistry, normal thyroid function with 2.5 cm × 1 cm nodule in the right lobe of thyroid on ultrasonography. Computed tomography of neck revealed a large tumor destroying C1 and part of C2 vertebrae, occupying craniovertebral junction and encroaching into the cervical canal causing severe compromise [Figure 1]a and b. Through posterolateral approach to the craniovertebral junction, decompression with occipito C3 and C4 vertebrae fusion using Magerl's technique was carried out [Figure 2]. Histopathologically, biopsied tissue showed thyroid follicles filled with colloid within skeletal muscle and connective tissue. There were no papillae giving a diagnosis of metastatic follicular carcinoma of thyroid [Figure 3]. She later underwent completion total thyroidectomy and I 131 Radioiodine ablation along with external beam radiotherapy of residual neck mass. Histopathological examination of thyroidectomy specimen also confirmed finding of follicular carcinoma of the thyroid in a solitary nodule. At follow-up after 3 months, her spastic quadriparesis still persisted though the power had improved to 4/5 power proximally and 2/5 power distally in all four limbs.
Figure 1: (a and b) Computed tomography scan of neck (coronal and sagittal reconstruction) showing a large tumor destroying C1 and part of C2 vertebrae, occupying craniovertebral junction and encroaching into the cervical canal causing severe compromise

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Figure 2: Post‑operative radiograph of the cervical canal showing occipito C3, C4 lateral mass screw fusion

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Figure 3: H and E stained (20) slides showing follicular carcinoma lying embedded in skeletal muscle

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   Discussion Top


Thyroid cancer is the fifth most common malignancy in women. [2] Osseous metastases occur in 2-44% of patients in differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) [3],[4] more frequently in follicular (7-28%) as compared to papillary cancer (1.4-7%). More than 80% of bone metastases from all tumors including DTC are located in the axial skeleton red marrow (vertebrae, ribs and hips) owing to high blood flow. [3] Clinically, they present with bone pains, pathological fractures or signs of cord compression [4] like our case. Most patients with DTC have predominantly osteolytic lesions, with secondary bone formation that accounts for increased radionuclide uptake on bone scan. Bone metastases from thyroid cancer are generally resistant to 131 I and may require other modalities. Indications for surgery include persistent pain refractory to medical therapy, tumors with poor radioactive uptake and spinal instability with or without neural compression. [4] Surgical debulking is associated with improved quality and longevity. External beam radiotherapy is another option to reduce tumor burden and pain. Our patient was treated along the same lines. Embolization of feeding vessel is a potent palliative modality for pain relief, further tumor growth and pre-operatively to reduce blood loss. Other potential modalities to reduce or prevent bone metastases include radio frequency ablation, bisphosphonates, denosumab, anti-angiogenic factors (bevacizumab) and gene therapy. [2],[3]

 
   References Top

1.Kim DK, Jwa CS, Kim KH, Kang JK. Spinal cord compression as initial presentation of follicular thyroid carcinoma. J Korean Neurosurg Soc 2007;41:269-71.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Haugen BR, Kane MA. Approach to the thyroid cancer patient with extracervical metastases. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2010;95:987-93.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Muresan MM, Olivier P, Leclère J, Sirveaux F, Brunaud L, Klein M, et al. Bone metastases from differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Endocr Relat Cancer 2008;15:37-49.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Tickoo SK, Pittas AG, Adler M, Fazzari M, Larson SM, Robbins RJ, et al. Bone metastases from thyroid carcinoma: A histopathologic study with clinical correlates. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2000;124:1440-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]



 

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