Thyroid gland
Papillary carcinoma
Encapsulated variant

Author: Shahidul Islam, M.D., Ph.D.

Revised: 5 January 2018, last major update March 2009

Copyright: (c) 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: encapsulated variant papillary carcinoma
Cite this page: Islam, S. Encapsulated variant. website. Accessed June 20th, 2018.
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)

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Nuclear changes of papillary carcinoma and psammoma bodies
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Images contributed by Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D.

Papillary carcinoma encapsulated variant

Transcapsular invasion

AFIP images

Thickened capsule is violated by tumor growth

Typical papillary appearance

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