Anaplastic Thyroid Carcinoma Clinical Presentation

Updated: May 13, 2021
  • Author: Anastasios K Konstantakos, MD; Chief Editor: Neetu Radhakrishnan, MD  more...
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Patients with anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) typically present with a rapidly growing neck mass. Patients with metastases may also note bone pain, weakness, and cough. Neurologic deficits may be observed with brain metastases. The rapidly growing neck mass may produce the following symptoms:

  • Dysphagia
  • Cough
  • Neck pain
  • Dyspnea

Physical Examination

Physical examination typically reveals a dominant neck mass. More than 40% of affected patients have lymph node enlargement, indicating local metastases. Pleural effusions may lead to decreased breath sounds on auscultation. With metastases, the patient may have findings such as bone pain and neurologic deficits.