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Papillary carcinoma of the thyroid in Japan: subclassification of common type and identification of low risk group
  1. K Kakudo1,
  2. W Tang1,
  3. Y Ito2,
  4. I Mori1,
  5. Y Nakamura1,
  6. A Miyauchi2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Wakayama Medical University, Wakayama, 641-8509, Japan
  2. 2Kuma Hospital, Kobe, 650–0011, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Kennichi Kakudo
 Department of Pathology, Wakayama Medical University, Kimiidera 811-1, Wakayama, 641-8509, Japan;


Aims: Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is classified into two subgroups—common type and other histological variants. Correlations between further subgrouping of the common type and patient prognosis are not well documented.

Aims: To introduce two novel histological parameters to characterise PTC—loss of cellular polarity and loss of cellular cohesiveness. To investigate a new subgroup of common type PTC with possible prognostic value.

Methods: In total, 213 patients with PTCs larger than 1 cm were studied. Histological characteristics of these PTCs, including tumour growth pattern, encapsulation, extrathyroidal invasion, loss of cellular polarity, and loss of cellular cohesiveness were examined and correlated with disease free survival (DFS).

Results: Multivariate analysis revealed that invasive growth of unencapsulated PTC, in addition to sex (male) and tumour size (>4 cm) were significant and independent parameters for poor DFS, whereas loss of cellular polarity and cohesiveness, old age (>60 years), extrathyroid invasion, and completeness of surgery were significant only in univariate analysis. PTCs that showed expansive growth and retained cellular polarity had a favourable course, with no recurrence and no cancer related deaths. In contrast, PTCs exhibiting loss of cellular polarity and/or invasive growth with no tumour capsule had a higher risk of recurrence.

Conclusion: Cytological features alone cannot predict patient outcome in PTC. This study indicates for the first time that loss of cellular polarity and the tumour growth pattern are useful parameters for identifying the so called low risk group in common type PTC and in predicting patient outcome in terms of tumour recurrence and cancer related death.

  • DFS, disease free survival
  • PTC, papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • thyroid gland
  • papillary carcinoma
  • pathology
  • prognosis
  • recurrence

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