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Am J Clin Pathol. 1991 Mar;95(3):309-14.

Papillary carcinoma of thyroid with exuberant nodular fasciitis-like stroma. Report of three cases.

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Department of Pathology, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.


Three examples of an unusual morphologic variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) are reported. The presence of a prominent stromal component resulted in low-power microscopic appearances resembling fibroadenoma, phyllodes tumor, or fibrocystic disease of the breast in two cases. The carcinomatous component grew in the form of anastomosing narrow tubules, clustered glands, solid sheets with or without squamous differentiation, and/or papillae, and exhibited the typical nuclear features of PTC. The abundant stroma had a nodular fasciitis-like quality and was composed of short fascicles of spindle cells separated by varying amounts of mucoid matrix, collagen, and extravasated red blood cells; this was interpreted as an exuberant mesenchymal reaction to the carcinoma. The importance of recognizing this variant of PTC is that, when one encounters a fibroproliferative lesion of the thyroid, a diligent search should be made for papillary carcinoma. This variant also must be distinguished from the vastly more aggressive papillary carcinomas with anaplastic transformation and the so-called carcinosarcomas.

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