Undifferentiated thyroid tumors of diffuse small cell type
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A histological review of 72 undifferentiated thyroid tumors was performed in order to discover small cell anaplastic carcinomas and Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Cases suspected to be lymphoma were examined for the presence of Ig and keratin and lectins with a PAP-procedure.
Among the 72 cases, 68 (94,5%) were anaplastic carcinomas of various types. Four cases (5,5%) were diffuse small cell tumors, which had previously been regarded as anaplastic carcinomas. All four could be identified as Non-Hodgkin lymphomas by histology, immunohistochemistry, repeat biopsy or autopsy.
The findings suggest that- the majority of small cell anaplastic thyroid tumors are lymphomas and that true anaplastic small cell carcinoma of the thyroid must be extremely rare. Its diagnosis requires electronmicroscopy and/or immunohistochemistry to demonstrate the epithelial nature of tumor cells.
Key wordsThyroid neoplasms Undifferentiated carcinomas Lymphomas
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