Thyroid gland
Papillary thyroid carcinoma
Main variants

Topic Completed: 1 March 2009

Minor changes: 22 September 2020

Copyright: 2003-2020,, Inc.

PubMed Search: encapsulated variant papillary carcinoma

Shahid Islam, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2019: 2,103
Page views in 2020 to date: 1,468
Cite this page: Islam S. Encapsulated. website. Accessed September 29th, 2020.
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

AFIP images

Tumor surrounded by fibrous capsule

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Nuclear changes of papillary carcinoma and psammoma bodies
Microscopic (histologic) 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
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02