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MALTomas of the Thyroid

Mark J. Shumate, MD, MPH
Arch Intern Med. 1997;157(15):1765. doi:10.1001/archinte.1997.00440360207021.
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I read with interest the recent article by Singer et al1 about the treatment of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. I was especially interested in the section concerning thyroid lymphoma, but was surprised that no mention was made of the current classification of most thyroid lymphomas. The article refers to primary thyroid lymphomas as simply being of the nonHodgkin type. This is true, but in recent years the majority of these lymphomas have been further characterized as being mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas, a distinct subgroup of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.2,3 This form of lymphoma is associated with autoimmune disorders or chronic inflammation,4 as is the case in primary thyroid lymphoma where the lymphomas are associated with Hashimoto thyroiditis.

The common association of chronic inflammatory processes with MALT lymphomas leads to interesting speculation about treatment possibilities for these diseases. In the case of gastric MALT lymphoma, the lymphoid proliferation


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