Radiographic and Scintigraphic Evidence of Focal Pulmonary Neoplasia in Three Cats with Hyperthyroidism: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Considerations

Cook S.M., Daniel G.B., Walker M.A., et al.

J Vet Intern Med, 1993. 7(5): p.303-8.


Three cats were diagnosed as hyperthyroid based on clinical signs, historical findings, laboratory abnormalities, and basal serum thyroxine (T4) concentrations, and/or nuclear thyroid scans. Additionally, a presumptive diagnosis of thyroid carcinoma with pulmonary metastasis was made in each cat based on radiographic or scintigraphic evaluation. All three cats had solitary pulmonary nodules 1.5 to 2 cm in diameter on survey thoracic radiographs; one cat also had chylous pleural effusion and pulmonary lobar consolidation. Focal pulmonary accumulation of sodium pertechnetate (99mTcO4-) and/or radioiodine (131I) corresponding to radiographic lesions were seen in all cats. Two cats were treated with single ablative doses (1111 to 1480 MBq) of 131I; the remaining cat was euthanatized. One of the treated cats died 8 days later; the other cat was euthanatized 22 weeks following treatment. Histopathologic examination of tissue obtained at necropsy confirmed metastatic thyroid carcinoma in one cat and bronchogenic adenocarcinoma in two cats. Our findings indicate that increased radionuclide uptake in focal pulmonary lesions and cytologic evaluation of tissue obtained by fine-needle aspiration are not specific for thyroid tissue.