A 22-year-old woman with a 'hot' thyroid nodule who was being treated with minocycline for severe acne vulgaris is presented. A partial thyroidectomy specimen revealed a black adenoma. Microscopically, the black pigment was found in the follicular cells and the colloid of the adenoma. The pigment was bleached with potassium permanganate and was Fontana-Masson stain positive. It was negative for iron, periodic acid-Schiff, and acid-fast Ziehl-Neelsen stains. All these feature suggest a melanin-like pigment. However, electron microscopic examination revealed a dense osmophilic material present within the lysosomes of the follicular cells. No melanosomes were present. Twenty-six previously reported cases are reviewed, and the possible mechanisms for the deposition of the pigment in the adenoma and its relation to minocycline degradation products are discussed.
- Black thyroid