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Black thyroid is characterized by a rare pigment change observed almost exclusively in patients taking minocycline. We present the case of a 72-year-old man diagnosed with T3N3bM0 stage IVB hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma who had been taking minocycline for approximately 18 months as a treatment for prurigo chronica multiformis. Initial treatment consisted of total pharyngolaryngoesophagectomy, bilateral neck dissection, total thyroidectomy, pharyngeal reconstruction using a free jejunal autograft, and creation of a permanent tracheostoma. During surgery, black discoloration of the thyroid and trachea was observed. Postoperative histological findings confirmed the black discoloration, with deposits of dark-brown, melanin-like granules observed in the thyroid, trachea, thyroid cartilage, and cricoid cartilage. Therefore, the black discoloration of the thyroid associated with the use of minocycline can extend to the thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, and trachea. This information is important for surgeons to recognize in order to prevent unnecessary resection due to misdiagnosis. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier B.V.


Takahito Kondo, Munehide Nakatsugawa, Yuji Hirai, Atsuo Takeda, Naiue Kikawada, Yusuke Aihara, Yuujin Chiba, Akira Okimura, Hiroshi Hirano, Yasuo Ogawa, Kiyoaki Tsukahara. Minocycline-induced black thyroid with black pigmentation of the thyroid cartilage, cricoid cartilage, and trachea found during reconstructive surgery for hypopharyngeal cancer. Auris, nasus, larynx. 2022 Apr;49(2):299-303

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PMID: 32912766

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