Endocrine Pathology

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 12–15 | Cite as

Papillary Carcinoma Tall Cell Variant (TCV): A Review

  • Virginia A. LiVolsiEmail author


Tall cell variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma is an aggressive form of thyroid cancer with a significant mortality. This review describes the pathology of this variant, compares it to its pathologic mimics and discusses its clinical pathologic features. The literature on this tumor is reviewed. A brief discussion of molecular pathologic correlates is included.


Thyroid cancer Tall cell variant Clinical pathologic correlations 


  1. 1.
    Hawk WA, Hazard JB. The many appearances of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. Clevel Clin Q. 43:207–15, 1976.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Johnson TL, Lloyd RV, Thompson NW, Beierwaltes WH, Sisson JC. Prognostic implications of the tall cell variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol. 12:22–7, 1988.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    DeLellis RA, Lloyd RV, Heitz PU, Eng C, editors. World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and genetics of tumours of endocrine organs. Lyon: IARC; 2004.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Solomon A, Gupta PK, LiVolsi VA, Baloch ZW. Distinguishing tall cell variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma from usual variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma in cytologic specimens. Diagn Cytopathol. 27:143–8, 2002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ghossein R, Leboeuf R, Patel KN, et al. Tall cell variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma without extra-thyroid extension: biologic behavior and clinical implications. Thyroid. 17:655–61, 2007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Akslen LA, LiVolsi VA. Prognostic significance of histologic grading compared with subclassification of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Cancer. 88:1902–8, 2000.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ostrowski ML, Merino MJ. Tall cell variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma: a reassessment and immunohistochemical study with comparison to the usual type of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid. Am J Surg Pathol. 20:964–74, 1996.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Nishida T, Katayama S, Tsujimoto M, Nakamura J, Matsuda H. Clinicopathological significance of poorly differentiated thyroid carcinoma. Am J Surg Pathol. 23:205–11, 1999.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ghossein R, LiVolsi VA. Papillary thyroid carcinoma tall cell variant. Thyroid. 18:1179–81, 2008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kakudo K, Bai Y, Katayama S, Hirokawa M, Ito Y, Miyauchi A, et al. Classification of follicular cell tumors of the thyroid gland: analysis involving Japanese patients from one institute. Pathol Int. 59:359–67, 2009.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Apel R, Asa S, LiVolsi VA. Papillary Hurthle cell carcinoma with lymphocytic stroma: “Warthin-like tumor” of the thyroid. Am J Surg Pathol. 19:810–4, 1995.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Baloch ZW, LiVolsi VA. Fine-needle aspiration cytology of papillary Hurthle cell carcinoma with lymphocytic stroma “Warthin-like tumor” of the thyroid. Endocrine Pathol. 9:317–23, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Berho M, Suster S. The oncocytic variant of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid: a clinicopathologic study of 15 cases. Hum Pathol. 28:47–53, 1997.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sobrinho-Simoes M, Maximo V, Castro IV, Fonseca E, Soares P, Garcia-Rostan G, et al. Hurthle (oncocytic cell tumors of thyroid: Etiopathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical significance. Int J Surg Pathol. 13:29–35, 2005.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Montone KT, Baloch ZW, LiVolsi VA. The thyroid Hurthle (oncocytic) cell and its associated pathologic conditions: a surgical pathology and cytopathology review. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 132:1241–50, 2008.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Michels JJ, ScI MJ, Henry-Amar M, Bardet S. Prevalence and prognostic significance of tall cell variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Hum Pathol. 38:212–9, 2007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bronner MP, LiVolsi VA. Spindle cell squamous carcinoma of the thyroid: An unusual tumor associated with tall cell papillary cander. Mod Pathol. 4(5):637–643, 1991.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wreesmann VB, Sieczka EM, Socci ND, Hezel M, Belbin TJ, Childs G, et al. Genome-wide profiling of papillary thyroid cancer identifies MUC1 as an independent prognostic marker. Cancer Res. 64:3780–9, 2004.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Campo E, Merino MJ, Liotta L, Neumann R, Stetler-Stevenson W. Distribution of the 72-kd type IV collagenase in non neoplastic and neoplastic thyroid tissue. Hum Pathol. 23:1395–401, 1992.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Adeniran AJ, Zhu Z, Gandhi M, Steward D, Fidler JP, Giordano T, et al. Correlation between genetic alterations and microscopic features, clinical manifestations and prognostic characteristics of thyroid papillary carcinomas. Am J Surg Pathol. 30:216–22, 2006.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rivera M, Ghossein RA, Schoder H, Gomez D, Larson SM, Tuttle RM. Histopathologic characterization of radioactive iodine-refractory fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography-positive thyroid carcinoma. Cancer. 113:48–56, 2008.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Pennsylvania Health SystemPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations