Virchows Archiv A

, Volume 402, Issue 3, pp 259–273

The encapsulated follicular carcinoma of the thyroid

A clinicopathologic study of 35 cases
  • Sören Schröder
  • Norbert Pfannschmidt
  • Henning Dralle
  • Hartmut Arps
  • Werner Böcker


In a retrospective study of 86 follicular carcinomas of the thyroid gland, 35 lesions were classified as encapsulated carcinomas (40.7%). In two of these, lymph node metastases were detected initially. Another patient presented with distant metastases. The biological behaviour of these 35 tumours was studied over a long-term follow-up period (0.4–19.1 years, mean 10.3 years) which featured three cases of death from thyroid carcinoma 0.4–5.0 years after thyroidectomy. Another patient suffered from local recurrence of a follicular carcinoma 13.9 years later. The morphological and clinical findings of those five patients who initially presented with metastases and/or whose follow-up registered the local recurrence of thyroid cancer or death as a result of it, were compared with the remaining 30 cases which were of a benign clinical course. Statistical analysis showed that the prognosis of encapsulated follicular carcinoma is more serious when tumours occur in patients older than 65 years of age and when the tumour diameter is 5.0 cm or more. There was a tendency towards poorer prognosis in those tumours exclusively composed of oxyphilic epithelium.

Key words

Encapsulated follicular carcinoma Thyroid carcinoma Follicular carcinoma 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Beaugie JM, Brown CL, Doniach I, Richardson JE (1976) Primary malignant tumours of the thyroid. The relationship between histological classification and clinical behaviour. Br J Surg 63:173–181Google Scholar
  2. Cohnheim J (1876) Einfacher Gallertkropf mit Metastasen. Virchows Arch [Pathol Anat] 68:547–554Google Scholar
  3. Crile G (1968) Treatment of carcinomas of the thyroid. In: Young S, Inman D (eds) Thyroid neoplasia. Academic Press, London New York, pp 39–47Google Scholar
  4. Crile G, Hawk WA (1971) Carcinomas of the thyroid. Cleve Clin Q 38:97–104Google Scholar
  5. Franssila KO (1971) Value of histologic classification of thyroid cancer. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand (A) Suppl 225Google Scholar
  6. Franssila KO (1975) Prognosis in thyroid carcinoma. Cancer 36:1138–1146Google Scholar
  7. Georgii A (1977) Die epithelialen Tumoren der Schilddrüse. Verh Dtsch Ges Pathol 61:191–208Google Scholar
  8. Graham A (1924) Malignant epithelial tumors of the thyroid, with special reference to invasion of blood vessels. Surg Gynecol Obstet 39:781–790Google Scholar
  9. Hazard B, Kenyon R (1954a) Atypical adenoma of the thyroid. A M A Arch Pathol 58:554–563Google Scholar
  10. Hazard B, Kenyon R (1954b) Encapsulated angioinvasive carcinoma (angioinvasive adenoma) of thyroid gland. Am J Clin Pathol 24:755–766Google Scholar
  11. Hedinger Chr, Sobin LH (1974) Histological typing of thyroid tumours. International histological classification of tumours No. 11. World Health Organization GenevaGoogle Scholar
  12. Hedinger Chr (1983) Pathology of thyroid cancer. Acta endocrinol Suppl 252:25Google Scholar
  13. Hirabayashi RM, Lindsay S (1961) Carcinoma of the thyroid gland. A statistical study of 390 patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 21:1596–1610Google Scholar
  14. Hofstädter F, Unterkircher S (1980) Histologische Kriterien zur Prognose der Struma maligna. Pathologe 1:79–85Google Scholar
  15. Kahn NF, Perzin KH (1983) Follicular carcinoma of the thyroid: an evaluation of the histologic criteria used for diagnosis. In: Sommers SC, Rosen PP (eds) Pathology annual, Part I, Vol 18. Appleton Century Crofts, Norwalk, Conn. p 221–253Google Scholar
  16. Lang W, Georgii A, Stauch G, Kienzle E (1980) The differentiation of atypical adenomas and encapsulated follicular carcinomas in the thyroid gland. Virchows Arch [Pathol Anat] 385:125–141Google Scholar
  17. Lang W, Georgii A (1982) Minimal invasive cancer in the thyroid. In: Burghardt E, Holzer E (eds) Minimal invasive cancer (microcarcinoma), W.B. Saunders, London Philadelphia Toronto (Clinics in oncology, Vol. 1/2) p 527–537Google Scholar
  18. Lindsay S (1960) Carcinoma of the thyroid gland. A clinical and pathologic study of 293 patients at the University of California Hospital. Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Ill.Google Scholar
  19. Meissner WA, Warren S (1968) Tumors of the thyroid gland. Atlas of tumor pathology. 2nd series. Fasc 4. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  20. Pfannschmidt N, Schröder S, Böcker W (1984) Outcome in widely invasive follicular carcinoma of the thyroid (in preparation)Google Scholar
  21. Ruchti D, Komor J, König MP (1976) Großzellige Tumoren (sogenannte Hürthlezell-Tumoren) der Schilddrüse, Helv chir Acta 43:129–132Google Scholar
  22. Schröder S, Böcker W, Dralle H, Kortmann KB, Stern C (1984) The encapsulated papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. A morphologic subtype of the papillary thyroid carcinoma. Cancer (in press)Google Scholar
  23. Selzer G, Kahn LB, Albertyn L (1977) Primary malignant tumors of the thyroid gland. A clinicopathologic study of 254 cases. Cancer 40:1501–1510Google Scholar
  24. Thompson NW, Dunn EL, Batsakis JG, Nishiyama RH (1974) Hürthle cell lesions of the thyroid gland. Surg Gynecol Obstet 139:555–560Google Scholar
  25. Tollefsen HR, Shah JP, Huvos AG (1975) Hürthle cell carcinoma of the thyroid. Am J Surg 130:390–394Google Scholar
  26. Warren S (1931) Significance of invasion of blood vessels in adenoma of the thyroid gland. Arch Pathol 11:255–257Google Scholar
  27. Warren S, Meissner W (1953) Tumors of the thyroid gland. Atlas of tumor pathology. Sect IV, Fasc 14. Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  28. Warren S (1956) Invasion of blood vessels in thyroid cancer. Am J Clin Pathol 26:64–65Google Scholar
  29. Woolner LB, Beahrs OH, Black BM, McConahey WM, Keating FR (1961) Classification and prognosis of thyroid carcinoma. A study of 885 cases observed in a thirty year period. Am J Surg 102:354–387Google Scholar
  30. Woolner LB, Beahrs OH, Black BM, McConahey WM, Keating FR (1968) Thyroid carcinoma: General considerations and follow-up data on 1181 cases. In: Young S, Inman D (eds) Thyroid neoplasia. Academic Press, London New York, p 51–79Google Scholar
  31. Woolner LB (1971) Thyroid carcinoma - pathologic classification with data on prognosis. Semin Nucl Med 1:481–502Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sören Schröder
    • 1
  • Norbert Pfannschmidt
    • 1
  • Henning Dralle
    • 2
  • Hartmut Arps
    • 1
  • Werner Böcker
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyUniversity of HamburgHamburg 20
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryHannover School of MedicineHannoverFederal Republic of Germany

Personalised recommendations