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Endocrine Pathology Online

Pathology of Hurthle Cell (Oxyphil) Carcinoma of the Thyroid

Dr Sampurna Roy MD         




Hurthle cells have voluminous eosinophilic cytoplasm rich in mitochondria as

evidenced by special stains and electron microscopy.              

It was once thought that thyroid neoplasms comprising these cells were  of

unpredictable behaviour and should be termed Hurthle cell "tumours".

It is now known that the defining criteria for malignancy are exactly the same as for

 follicular neoplasms in general.

Hurthle cell tumours are more likely than ordinary follicular neoplasms  to show

invasion and thorough sampling of Hurthle cell neoplasms is  therefore important.

They are also more likely to show tumour necrosis. 

Any cystic necrotic thyroid tumour should be carefully searched for Hurthle cell


They are more aggressive than standard follicular carcinoma and unlike it  may

metastasize to lymph nodes.

The finding of apparent follicular carcinoma in a lymph node should  always prompt

 consideration that it may be:

(1) Follicular variant Papillary Carcinoma and

(2) Hurthle cell carcinoma.


Further reading

Hürthle cell carcinoma: a critical histopathologic appraisal.

Hürthle cell carcinoma: a 60-year experience.

Fine-needle aspiration biopsy of Hurthle cell lesions of the thyroid gland: A cytomorphologic study of 139 cases with statistical analysis.

Hürthle cell carcinoma: a clinicopathological study of thirteen cases.

Prognostic indications for Hürthle cell cancer.

Prognostic factors in patients with Hürthle cell neoplasms of the thyroid.

Hürthle cell neoplasms: diagnostic and therapeutic evaluations

Survival and prognosis in Hürthle cell carcinoma of the thyroid gland.

Hurthle cell neoplasms of the thyroid.

Follicular and Hürthle cell carcinoma of the thyroid gland.

Fine needle aspiration of poorly differentiated oxyphilic (Hürthle cell) thyroid carcinoma: a case report.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)  ;  Dermpath-India  ;   Soft Tissue Tumour Online ; Cardiac Path Online ;

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