Two Cases of Rapidly Growing Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma After Radioactive Iodine Therapy for Graves’ Disease

Seigo Tachibana, Tadao Yokoi, Shinya Sato, Nobuhiro Nakatake, Shuji Fukata, Junichi Tajiri, Hiroyuki Yamashita


We herein report two cases of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) after radioactive iodine therapy (RIT) for Graves’ disease (GD). Case 1: A 25-year-old man visited to our clinic. He had undergone RIT for GD at 23 years old. His thyroid function was severe hypothyroidism because of poor compliance of taking levothyroxine (LT4), and thyroid nodule was detected by neck ultrasonography (US). After his first visit, his compliance of taking LT4 maintained poor, then his thyroid nodule grew up from 7 mm to 12 mm for 9 months. Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) was performed and the result of FNAB suggested PTC. Therefore, total thyroidectomy was done. Case 2: A 40-year-old woman was referred to our clinic for the treatment of PTC. She had also undergone RIT for GD at 34 years old. When she was 39 years old, a thyroid nodule was detected by neck US. Her compliance of taking LT4 was also poor, and the nodule grew up from 11 mm to 19 mm for 12 months. The result of FNAB was suggestive of PTC. Therefore, total thyroidectomy was done. In both two cases, thyroid nodular lesion could not be detected by neck US before RIT. In conclusion, we considered that this rapid growth of PTC in the irradiated thyroid gland may be induced by TSH stimulation, and that routine neck US should be continued after RIT for GD, even if there is no tumor in the thyroid before RIT.

J Endocrinol Metab. 2012;2(3):145-150


Radioactive iodine therapy; Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Graves’ disease; Hypothyroidism

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