Follicular Variant of Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma

  • Adebowale J. Adeniran
  • David Chhieng


Although architecturally, it fits into the category of follicular neoplasm, follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma is classified as a subtype of papillary carcinoma because it behaves clinically like papillary carcinoma. The tumor is comprised predominantly of follicles; however, the characteristic nuclear features of classic papillary carcinoma are present. Papillary clusters are notably absent. The most common diagnostic dilemma is mistaking it for either goiter or follicular neoplasm. This is due to the fact that there is an overlapping diagnostic criteria for follicular lesions in general and also the paucity of diagnostic features of PTC in this variant, either because they are poorly developed or present only focally. When the predominant architecture is the presence of syncytial tissue fragments, especially in a background of colloid, the lesion can be misdiagnosed as nodular goiter.


Papillary thyroid carcinoma Follicular variant Encapsulated Cytomorphology Architecture Microfollicles Syncytial tissue fragments Nuclear features RAS mutation Follicular neoplasm 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adebowale J. Adeniran
    • 1
  • David Chhieng
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyMount Sinai Health SystemNew YorkUSA

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