Does Hurthle cell lesion/neoplasm predict malignancy more than follicular lesion/neoplasm on thyroid fine-needle aspiration?

Department of Pathology, Cancer Center, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.
Diagnostic Cytopathology (Impact Factor: 1.12). 05/2006; 34(5):330-4. DOI: 10.1002/dc.20440
Source: PubMed


Thyroid fine-needle aspiration (FNA) is a standard procedure for the clinical triage of thyroid nodules. The diagnosis of an adequately sampled thyroid FNA is generally grouped into three categories: benign, malignant, and indeterminate. The latter group usually includes follicular neoplasm, follicular lesion, and sometimes a more specific diagnosis such as Hurthle cell neoplasm or follicular lesion/neoplasm with Hurthle cell change. Whether a FNA diagnosis of Hurthle cell lesion/neoplasm (HLN) denotes a worse clinical outcome than follicular lesion/neoplasm (FLN) remains controversial. A cohort of 303 thyroid FNA cases with follow-up thyroidectomy in our institutes was identified, with the follow-up excision diagnosis compared to the FNA diagnosis in order to address this issue. Of this cohort, 87 cases had an FNA diagnosis of HLN while 216 cases had a diagnosis of FLN. Upon excision, the FNA diagnosis of HLN group had 14 cases of goiter/nodular hyperplasia (16%), 46 cases of adenoma (12 follicular adenoma (14%) and 34 cases of Hurthle cell adenoma (39%)), and 27 cases of carcinoma (31%, 12 papillary carcinoma and 15 Hurthle cell carcinoma). The FLN group had 74 cases of goiter/nodular hyperplasia (34.3%), 8 cases of Hashimoto thyroiditis (3.7%), 73 cases of follicular adenoma (33.8%), one case of granular cell tumor, and 60 cases of carcinoma (27.8%, 46 papillary carcinoma, 12 follicular carcinoma, and 1 Hurthle cell carcinoma and 1 parathyroid carcinoma) upon excision. There is no significant difference in predicting cancer between the two cytology diagnosis groups (HLN versus FLN, 31% versus 27.8%, P = 0.5771). When sorting all the cases by the surgical diagnosis, while comparable for age at diagnosis, the cancer group having the higher proportion of male patients than the non-cancer group (28.7% versus 16.7%, P = 0.0259). Hurthle cell carcinoma patients are typically older than patients with other cancer diagnoses (59 versus 44, P = 0.0077). Our results suggest that an FNA diagnosis of HLN does not predict more malignancy than FLN. Males and older patients with a HLN FNA diagnosis carry a higher risk of Hurthle cell carcinoma upon thyroidectomy.

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    • "The malignant tumors seen in our study were not only OF carcinoma but also included papillary thyroid carcinoma (24 cases) and follicular carcinoma (9 cases). Similar results have been reported by other authors.[4720] In the study by Pu et al., the malignant tumors on the histologic follow-up were: Papillary thyroid carcinoma 58, OF carcinoma 15 and follicular carcinoma 12 cases.[7] "
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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.
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    ABSTRACT: Ewing coined the term “Hürthle cell” in 1928 based upon the description of a cell made by Hürthle in 1894. The term has become entrenched in the thyroid lexicon, even though Hürthle’s original description is now believed to represent a parafollicular or C-cell of the thyroid gland.1 In 1898, Askanazy was the first to describe the follicular-derived Hürthle cell as we know it today.2 The Hürthle cell (also called Askanazy cell, oxyphilic cell, and oncocyte) is defined morphologically as a thyroid follicular cell with an abundance of finely granular cytoplasm. Most Hürthle cells have an enlarged, round to oval nucleus, and some have a prominent nucleolus.
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