Head and Neck Pathology

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 51–56 | Cite as

Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Variants

  • Ricardo V. Lloyd
  • Darya Buehler
  • Elham Khanafshar
Proceedings of the NASHNP Companion Meeting, February, 2011, San Antonio, TX


Papillary thyroid carcinomas are the most common thyroid cancers and constitute more than 70% of thyroid malignancies. The most common etiologic factor is radiation, but genetic susceptibility and other factors also contribute to the development of papillary thyroid carcinoma. The most common variants include conventional, follicular variant and tall cell variant. However, many other uncommon variants have been described including oncocytic, columnar cell, diffuse sclerosing and solid forms. Immunohistochemical staining with TTF-1 and thyroglobulin is very useful in confirming the diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma especially in metastatic sites. Markers such as HBME-1 and CITED1 can assist in separating some difficult cases of follicular variants of papillary thyroid carcinomas from follicular adenomas. Molecular studies have shown that the BRAF V600E mutation is found mainly in papillary and anaplastic thyroid carcinomas. Other molecular markers such as HMGA2 and insulin-like growth factor II mRNA binding protein 3 have been used recently as molecular tests to separate papillary thyroid carcinoma and its variants from follicular adenomas and other benign thyroid nodules.


Papillary thyroid carcinoma Follicular variant Tall cell Columnar cell BRAF mutation RET/PTC HMGA2 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ricardo V. Lloyd
    • 1
  • Darya Buehler
    • 1
  • Elham Khanafshar
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public HealthMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyUniversity of California School of MedicineSan FranciscoUSA

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