Warthin-like papillary carcinoma of the thyroid

William Penn University, Filadelfia, Pennsylvania, United States
Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine (Impact Factor: 2.84). 09/2000; 124(8):1192-5. DOI: 10.1043/0003-9985(2000)124<1192:WLPCOT>2.0.CO;2
Source: PubMed


Warthin-like papillary carcinoma of thyroid is characterized by distinct papillary formations lined by tumor cells with oncocytic cytoplasm, nuclear features of papillary carcinoma, and brisk lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates in the papillary stalks. This tumor derives its name from its close resemblance to Warthin tumor of major salivary glands.
The clinicopathologic features of 17 patients with Warthin-like papillary carcinoma were studied.
Fifteen tumors occurred in women and 2 arose in men (age range, 23-63 years). The lesions ranged in size from 3 mm to 2.5 cm. Fine-needle aspiration biopsies were performed in 7 cases; 4 were diagnosed as papillary carcinoma, 2 as consistent with lymphocytic thyroiditis, and 1 as atypical cells. All 17 tumors were confined to the thyroid; 6 showed prominent cyst formation and the remaining tumors were solid. In each case, the tumor arose in a background of lymphocytic thyroiditis. Nodal metastases were identified in 3 cases; however, none showed distant metastases. In 7 cases, foci of papillary microcarcinoma and follicular variant of papillary carcinoma were found in other areas of the thyroid.
Warthin-like tumors can be mistaken for benign lymphoepithelial lesions of the thyroid, Hürthle cell carcinoma, and tall cell variant of papillary carcinoma in both fine-needle aspiration and histology specimens. Follow-up information on the previously reported cases has suggested that these tumors behave similarly to usual papillary carcinoma. The extensive lymphocytic infiltration in these tumors and their association with chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis may suggest a role for immunological mechanisms in the pathogenesis of thyroid tumors.

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    • "Non-neoplastic thyroid lesions characterized by oncocytic metaplasia and/or hyperplasia may result in FNA smears with fairly monotonous cells, leading to a “misdiagnosis” of an oncocytic neoplasm.[478] It is not unusual to encounter cytomorphologic features of CLT in the background of FNA specimens containing a predominant population of OF cells.[39–11] Cytopathologists have long recognized the diagnostic challenge to differentiate between oncocytic metaplasia in a benign nodule versus oncocytic neoplasm arising in CLT.[11–13] "
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    ABSTRACT: Oncocytic follicular (OF) cells can be a prominent component of fine needle aspiration (FNA) specimens from neoplasms (adenomas and carcinomas) and nodules arising in multinodular goiter and chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis (CLT). Because OF cells can be present in non-neoplastic and neoplastic thyroid lesions it can be challenging to differentiate between these two in FNA specimens. The aims of this study were to determine the risk of malignancy in cases diagnosed as either oncocytic follicular neoplasm (OFN) or hyperplastic/adenomatoid nodule with OF on FNA and to identify clinicopathologic features that may help in predicting malignancy in such cases, especially the presence or absence of CLT. We retrospectively searched the computerized laboratory information system at our institution between 1998 and 2009 for thyroid US guided FNA specimens in which the term "oncocytic/oncocytes" was mentioned in the final cytopathologic diagnosis. A total of 340 cases were selected for this study. The following data points were collected: Patient demographics, site of thyroid biopsy, size of lesion, FNA diagnosis, histopathologic follow-up and presence of CLT. Surgical pathology follow-up (SPFU) was available in 269 (79%) cases. Two hundred and sixty patients were females and 80 males (average age 53 years). The lesion size was <3.0 cm in 241 (71%) and ≥ 3.0 cm in 99 (29%) cases. Cytologic diagnoses included: Follicular neoplasm with oncocytic features (FNOF) 321 and suggestive of FNOF 19 cases; a secondary cytologic diagnosis of CLT was made in 20 cases. SPFU was available in 269 (79%) cases; it was benign in 213 (213/267 = 79%) and malignant in 56 (56/269 = 21%) cases. The background thyroid showed CLT in 67 (25%) cases; 24% (48/196) neoplasms occurred with versus 76% (147/196) without CLT. The rate of malignancy was lower in nodules measuring less than 3.0 cm as compared to those equal or greater than 3.0 cm in size (17% vs. 28% respectively). The presence of CLT did not significantly alter the rate of malignancy in both FNA and surgical pathology specimens. Based on this study, nodule size and not CLT appears to be an important clinicopathologic features in the management of thyroid FNA specimens diagnosed as OFN.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · CytoJournal
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    • "Indeed, these were the most frequent diagnoses in the literature on patients affected by WaLPTT. Baloch and LiVolsi report data on seven FNAs; there were four diagnoses of PTC, two of lymphocytic thyroiditis and one of atypical cells [5]. In the series of D'Antonio et al., all patients underwent FNA and two of them had a diagnosis of PTC; in one case, the results of FNA were inconclusive [4]. "
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    ABSTRACT: We present a case of Warthin-like papillary thyroid carcinoma in a 22-year-old woman and a review of the literature on the topic. The patient had the occasional discovery of a hypoechoic thyroid nodule of approximately 18 mm, characterized by irregular margins, hyperechoic spots, rich intra- and perilesional vascularization, and a suspicious enlarged right laterocervical lymph node. Fine-needle aspiration was performed for both lesions and the diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma without lymph node involvement was made. The patient underwent thyroidectomy and central neck lymphadenectomy without complications. Histopathological examination suggested a Warthin-like papillary carcinoma of the thyroid gland, with all the removed lymph nodes being free of disease. The patient subsequently underwent iodine ablative therapy and she remains free of disease one year after surgery. Warthin-like papillary thyroid carcinoma is a recently described variant of papillary thyroid cancer that is frequently associated with lymphocytic thyroiditis. Morphologically, it resembles Warthin tumors of the salivary glands, with T and B lymphocytes infiltrating the stalks of papillae lined with oncocytic cells. Surgical and postoperative management is identical to that of classic differentiated thyroid cancer, while prognosis seems to be favourable.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Case Reports in Oncological Medicine
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    • "Molecular biology studies have shown that Warthin tumor-like PTC and conventional PTC share the same BRAF and RET mutations, supporting that the former is a morphological variant of the latter [6]. However, whether Warthin tumor-like PTC should be considered a distinct clinico-pathologic entity with a favourable prognosis is still matter of debate [1] [3] [5] [7] [9], because some authors have reported that about 30% of cases exhibit a tendency to lymph nodal metastases and extrathyroidal extension [8] [9] [11]. The possibility of PTC to undergo dedifferentiation is a rare but well-known event which has "
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    ABSTRACT: Warthin tumor-like papillary thyroid carcinoma is an uncommon variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. We report a rare case of Warthin tumor-like variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma with a dedifferentiated component consisting of a solid tumor area composed of neoplastic cells with a spindle to tall cell morphology associated with marked nuclear pleomorphism, atypical mitoses, and foci of necrosis. Although our patient presented with a locally aggressive disease (T3 N1b Mo), she is disease-free without radioiodine therapy after a 23-month follow-up period. We emphasize that Warthin tumor-like papillary thyroid carcinoma, like other morphological variants of papillary carcinoma, may occasionally undergo dedifferentiation. As this component may be only focally detectable, we suggest an extensive sampling of all large-sized (>3 cm) papillary thyroid carcinoma. Recognition of any dedifferentiated component in a Warthin tumor-like papillary thyroid carcinoma should be reported, including its percentage, because it may reflect a more aggressive clinical course.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · Case Reports in Medicine
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