Cytoplasmic colloid inclusions in thyroid lesions: a cytomorphological study based on fine needle aspiration

Das, D.K.; Pathan, S.K.; Francis, I.M.; Sheikh, Z.A.; Al-Juwaiser, A.; Shaheen, A.; Prabha, K.; George, J.; Kapila, K.

Cytopathology Official Journal of the British Society for Clinical Cytology 16(5): 233-239


ISSN/ISBN: 0956-5507
PMID: 16181309
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2303.2005.00267.x
Accession: 048708488

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Intracytoplasmic lumens (ICL) with or without magenta material and transgressing vessels are features of Hürthle cell neoplasms (HCN). After detection of intracytoplasmic colloid inclusions (CIs) including targetoid (magenta) body-like structures in the Hürthle cells (HC) in a case of Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), we reviewed cases of HT, thyroid neoplasms, hyperplastic nodules (HN) and colloid goitres to determine the frequency of these structures. Further, an attempt was made to find out the significance of CIs. FNA smears of 120 HT, 101 colloid goitres, 11 HN, and 76 neoplastic goitres were examined. The presence of CIs and empty ICL were noted in epithelial cells in these lesions. An attempt was made to find out the difference between HT with and without CIs in respect of various cytomorphologic features. The groups were compared using the Fisher's exact test of probability. The CIs were present in 36 (30.0%) of HT, 26 (34.2%) of neoplastic goitres, 3 (27.3%) of HN, and 4 (4.0%) colloid goitres. As compared to colloid goitres, CIs were present in a significant higher number of cases in HN (P = 0.0202), neoplastic goitres (P < 0.0001), and HT (P < 0.0001). Among neoplasms the frequency of CIs in HCN (75.0%) was significantly higher than that of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) (33.3%, P = 0.0466), and follicular neoplasm (14.3%, P = 0.0083). The CIs were more frequent in HC in HT and HCN but in follicular cells (FC) in other lesions. The HT cases with CIs differed significantly from those without CIs in respect of HC and their cellularity, cellularity of reactive lymphoid cells, extracellular colloid and empty ICL. Care should be taken not to diagnose HT cases with an excessive Hürthle cell component and CIs, and PTC cases with Hürthlization and CIs, as HCN in FNA smears. Based on review of the literature and our findings, it is suggested that the Hürthle cell metaplasia in HT is a survival response of FC and the presence of CIs in Hürthle cell may represent their limited ability to synthesize colloid.

Cytoplasmic colloid inclusions in thyroid lesions: a cytomorphological study based on fine needle aspiration