Thyroid gland
Papillary carcinoma
Encapsulated variant

Author: Shahidul Islam, M.D., Ph.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 14 February 2017, last major update March 2009

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: encapsulated variant papillary carcinoma
Cite this page: Encapsulated variant. website. Accessed March 26th, 2017.
Definition / General
  • Papillary carcinoma totally surrounded by a capsule
  • 8 - 13% of papillary carcinomas
Prognostic Factors
Case Reports
Gross Description
  • Thick capsule, resembles follicular adenoma
Gross Images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Tumor surrounded by fibrous capsule (AFIP)

Micro Description
  • Nuclear changes of papillary carcinoma and psammoma bodies
Micro Images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Transcapsular invasion

Thickened capsule is violated by tumor growth (AFIP)

Typical papillary appearance (AFIP)

Images hosted on other servers:

Fig A: thickened capsule

Cytology Description
  • Scattered clusters of follicular cells with focal Hürthle cell changes and prominent nuclear pleomorphism, mixed with colloid and normal appearing follicular cells
  • May not show classic papillary nuclear features (Acta Cytol 2002;46:555)
Differential Diagnosis