Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma

Anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) is a highly aggressive form of thyroid cancer and accounts for ~1-2% of primary thyroid malignancies. Of all the subtypes, this carries the worst prognosis.

Typically occurs in the elderly (peak incidence in 6th to 7th decades). A significant proportion of patients may have a history of concurrent multinodular goiter. There is recognized female predilection 6.

Patients tend to present late. Compressive symptoms of neighouring structures can be common.

May show microcalcification 3. Usually seen as an infiltrative lesion.

Useful for assessment of tumor invasion 1 as well as metastatic burden. Lymph node +/- metastatic involvement is generally common at time of CT assessment 5. Typically seen as a highly infiltrative lesion about the thyroid gland

  • radioiodine: usually has no uptake 4.

Carries a very poor prognosis with 5 year survival ≈5%. Considered invariably fatal 6.

Consider other infiltrative thyroid neoplasms, such as:

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Article information

rID: 9176
System: Head & Neck
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer

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Cases and figures

  • Fig. 3
    Case 1
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