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Histopathology. 2002 Oct;41(4):357-62.

Hashimoto's thyroiditis shares features with early papillary thyroid carcinoma.

Author information

1
Department of Histopathology, Barts and The London NHS Trust, The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK.

Abstract

Neoplastic transformation is a multistep process that results in a continuous spectrum from the normal (physiological) state to a fully established neoplasm. The gold standard for diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma is conventional histology, the essential element being the characteristic nuclear features, regardless of whether papillary structures are present or not. However, other criteria are being used increasingly in the diagnosis of neoplasms, including immunohistochemical staining and molecular profile. The RET/PTC gene rearrangement is highly specific for papillary thyroid carcinoma and is associated with the characteristic nuclear features seen in papillary thyroid carcinoma. There is an overlap in the morphological features, immunohistochemical staining pattern, and most importantly, molecular profile between papillary thyroid carcinoma and Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Although considered a 'benign' condition, Hashimoto's thyroiditis almost always harbours a genetic rearrangement that is strongly associated with and is highly specific for papillary thyroid carcinoma. Submicroscopic foci of papillary thyroid carcinoma must be present in Hashimoto's thyroiditis, although the clinical behaviour is still benign. Further studies are required to predict which foci will progress to papillary thyroid carcinoma.

PMID:
12383219
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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