The significance of paravacuolar granules of the thyroid. A histologic, cytologic and ultrastructural study

Department of Pathology, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, D.C. 20037.
Acta cytologica (Impact Factor: 1.56). 01/1989; 33(6):929-33.
Source: PubMed


The presence of the so-called "paravacuolar granules" in thyroid follicular cells has been associated with increased metabolic activity of the gland, regressive changes, degeneration, phagocytic activity and benign papillary hyperplasia. During the course of a review of the intraoperative cytologic preparations and corresponding histologic sections from 73 thyroid cases, the presence of granules within follicular cells was noted in 25 cases (18 adenomatous or colloid goiters, 3 follicular adenomas, 2 papillary carcinomas, 1 follicular carcinoma and in thyroid tissue surrounding a follicular adenoma in 1 case). Histochemical and ultrastructural studies showed the granules to consist of lysosomes containing hemosiderin or lipofuscin pigments. These findings indicate that the presence of paravacuolar granules in thyroid cells is a common nonspecific finding that simply reflects: (1) the erythrophagocytic capability of the follicular epithelial cells, which results in the accumulation of iron within lysosomes, and (2) the accumulation of lipofuscin pigments within lysosomes as a result of degradation of endogenous cellular material.

1 Follower
98 Reads
  • Source
    • "electron microscopic and histochemical studies have shown these to be lysosomes containing hemosiderin and lipofuscin pigments [70]. Though, common in nodular goiter these granules can also be observed in malignant lesions of the thyroid. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Thyroid nodules are common and, depending on the detection technique used, can affect 50% or greater of the population. The primary diagnostic test to assess the nature of these nodules is fine-needle aspiration cytology. Most thyroid nodules are benign and often are multiple. However, the morphology of these nodules may mimic neoplasms showing features such as papillary growth, micro follicles and even oncocytic metaplasia. Lesions with these features may be considered in-determinant, and often require surgical excision to define their nature. The role of cytopathology in this area is to screen those definitely benign nodules, thus preventing surgery and reassuring both the patient and the clinician. In this review, we demonstrate many of the morphological manifestations of nodular goiter and stress the necessity of careful preparatory techniques. Although the past several years have witnessed the development of molecular testing to refine diagnostic cytology in the thyroid, it is still the role of the cytopathologist to identify those "indeterminant" nodules which should be tested. Thus, the cytopathologist contributes both an essential diagnostic and an important cost saving role which hopefully will continue in the future.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Best Practice & Research: Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A 57-year-old patient presented with a lesion of the iliac bone. Cytological smears prepared from material aspirated from the lesion revealed cells with longitudinal nuclear grooves and haemosiderin within their cytoplasm. These observations led to a diagnosis of metastatic thyroid papillary carcinoma which was confirmed by histological examination.
    No preview · Article · Feb 1991 · Cytopathology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A comprehensive comparative histo-cytological study of 48 nodular goiters from an endemic goiter region was undertaken. Practically all features observed on the biopsies were identified, although with less frequency, on the smears. In agreement with previous observations, characteristic components of nodular goiter (NG) in aspirates included small to medium size epithelial cells with regular round nuclei, honeycomb pattern, large follicles, papillae showing the previously mentioned epithelial features, oxyphilic cells, and moderate to abundant background colloid material and thyroid phagocytes (macrophages). All eight features occurred together in only 2% of the studied cases, seven in 6 (12.5%), six in 4 (8%), five in 6 (12.5%), four in 12 (25%), three in 6 (12.5%), two in 11 (23%), and one in 2 (4%) cases, respectively. Regardless of the number and combination of features present, specific identification of NG on the smears may not always be possible and diagnostic pitfalls include thyroid cyst, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, granulomatous lesions, and, more frequently, follicular neoplasia. Our findings suggest that thyroid aspirates should be analysed with critical clinico-pathological approach and surgery considered only for nodules that are clinically suspicious or unresponsive to hormonotherapy when a diagnosis of follicular neoplasia is made.
    No preview · Article · Jul 1992 · Diagnostic Cytopathology
Show more