Colloid-Predominant Lesions

  • Douglas P. Clark
  • William C. Faquin
Part of the Essentials in Cytopathology book series (EICP, volume 8)


The term goiter refers to any enlargement of the thyroid gland. However, most goiters are caused by a nonneoplastic, dynamic process in which there is hyperplasia and regression of the follicular epithelium and accumulation of colloid within the enlarged follicles. Grossly, this can lead to the development of multiple nodules of varying sizes within the gland, termed multinodular goiter. Often the largest or dominant nodule is the target of the fine needle aspiration (FNA). Iodine deficiency is a major cause of multinodular goiter in some countries; however, in geographic areas where dietary iodine is sufficient, the etiology of multinodular goiter is unknown. It may involve abnormalities in thyroid hormone production and variable sensitivity of follicular cells to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). For unclear reasons, multinodular goiters are more common in women and increase with age.


Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Iodine Deficiency Follicular Cell Multinodular Goiter Nodular Goiter 
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Suggested Reading

  1. Harach HR, Zusman SB, Saravia-Day E. Nodular goiter: a histocytological study with some emphasis on pitfalls of fine-needle aspiration cytology. Diagn Cytopathol 1992;8:409–419.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Tulecke MA, Wang HH. ThinPrep for cytologic evaluation of follicular thyroid lesions: correlation with histologic findings. Diagn Cytopathol 2004;30(1):7–13.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe Johns Hopkins Medical InstitutionsBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pathology Harvard Medical SchoolMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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