Elimination of locoregional recurrences and skin metastases in papillary thyroid cancer by ethanol ablation and mohs surgery

Nicole M. Iñiguez-Ariza, Robert A. Lee, Jerry D. Brewer, Ian D. Hay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ultrasound-guided percutaneous ethanol ablation procedures for locoregional recurrences in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) can be repeatedly performed over years. Skin metastases (SM) from PTC generally portend a lethal prognosis. Our patient case report demonstrates the innovative use in low-risk PTC (LRPTC) of treatment modalities designed to prevent neck re-explorations and capable of eliminating both locoregional recurrences and SM. In 2004, a 48-year-old man presented with neck nodal metastases due to PTC. He underwent a near-total thyroidectomy and nodal dissection, confirming an 8-mm PTC involving 2 ipsilateral node metastases. Postoperatively, he received 2 doses of radioactive iodine (RAI) for remnant uptake (cumulative dose 338 mCi); posttherapy scanning was unrevealing. In 2007, he underwent right neck dissection for further node metastases. In 2008, a guided biopsy confirmed a level IV node metastasis. He was referred to our institution for ethanol ablation. Two node metastases were ablated and subsequently disappeared. During 2010-2016, he developed an additional 6 node metastases, which were treated with ethanol ablation; all disappeared on high-resolution sonography. FDG-PET-CT scans in 2009 and 2016 were negative for distant spread. In 2016, a SM in his right neck was removed by dermatologic surgery. In 2017-2018, 2 further SM were excised with negative margins, one after Mohs surgery. He has now been disease-free for 20 months. In conclusion, despite 3 neck surgeries and 2 RAI therapies, our patient repeatedly developed both locoregional recurrences and SM. All 11 disease foci were eliminated with minimally invasive procedures which should more often be considered as effective treatment options in LRPTC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbvaa095
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Dermatologic surgery
  • Ethanol injection
  • Locoregional recurrence
  • Long-term prognosis
  • PTC
  • Skin metastasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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