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Cytopathology. 2001 Aug;12(4):257-63.

Fine needle aspiration cytology of primary lymphoma of the thyroid: a report of 17 cases.

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Department of Anatomical Pathology, Hospital of Busto Arsizio, Piazzale Solaro 3, 21052 Busto Arsizio, Italy.


Between 1980 and 1998, 4272 thyroid surgical specimens with a preoperative fine needle aspirate were sent to our Anatomical Pathology Department. Among these cases there were 17 primary thyroid lymphomas, which constituted 0.3% of all the thyroid lesions and 2.3% of the thyroid malignancies. Seven cases were diffuse large B-cell (DLBC) lymphomas and 10 were MALT lymphomas. Of the DLBC lymphomas six were correctly diagnosed by fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) and one was diagnosed as positive for malignancy, and among MALT lymphomas four were diagnosed as lymphoma, four as suspicious for lymphoma, and three as Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT). Our data indicate that the diagnosis of primary thyroid lymphoma of high grade is easy, and immunocytochemistry (ICC) can confirm suspicious cases. The diagnosis of MALT lymphoma is more difficult; ICC can confirm suspicious cases, and false-negative results seem to be caused by sampling error, because HT usually coexists with MALT lymphoma.

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