A comparison of medullary thyroid carcinoma and thyroid adenocarcinoma in dogs: a retrospective study of 38 cases

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Carver JR, Kapatkin A, Patnaik AK.

Vet Surg 1995;24:315-319.

The medical records of 38 dogs with thyroid neoplasia that were treated by surgical excision of the tumor, or had an incisional biopsy performed as a diagnostic procedure, were reviewed. Of the 38 dogs, 21 (55%) had resectable tumors, whereas 17 (45%) had an incisional biopsy as the tumors were nonresectable. All dogs had an initial diagnosis of thyroid carcinoma. The type of carcinoma was confirmed in 33 dogs by histological and immunohistochemical examination. Twelve dogs (36%) had medullary thyroid carcinoma, and 21 dogs (64%) had thyroid adenocarcinoma. Of the 12 dogs with medullary thyroid carcinoma, 10 (83%) had resectable tumors. Of the 10, three (30%) had at least a 1-year survival. None had radiographic evidence of metastasis at the time of surgery. Of the 21 dogs with thyroid adenocarcinoma, 11 (52%) had resectable tumors. Of the 11 dogs, five (45%) had at least a 1-year survival. Three dogs had radiographic evidence of metastasis at the time of surgery. Of 10 dogs with nonresectable thyroid adenocarcinoma, two dogs (20%) had at least a 1-year survival. In the dogs in this study, medullary thyroid carcinoma was more prevalent than previously reported. Most of the medullary thyroid carcinomas were well circumscribed and resectable. Medullary thyroid carcinoma may possess gross and histological characteristics of a less malignant nature when compared with other thyroid carcinomas.