Thyroid gland
Benign neoplasms

Author: Sheren Younes, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 27 January 2017, last major update September 2014

Copyright: (c) 2014-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: paraganglioma thyroid
Cite this page: Paraganglioma. website. Accessed June 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Uncommon neuroendocrine tumor arising from neural crest cells in paraganglia of autonomic nervous system
  • Usually ages 40 - 60 years, female
  • Usually benign behavior
Clinical features
  • Solitary thyroid nodule of long duration
  • May manifest with hypertension
  • Can occur in setting of hereditary paraganglioma syndrome
Case reports
Gross description
  • Usually circumscribed but sometimes infiltrative
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Cells are arranged in organoid (zelbellen) arrangement
  • Chief cells are surrounded by richly vascular septa with sustentacular cells
  • Chief cells are round-oval, with eosinophilic, granular or vacuolated cytoplasm, uniform nuclei, dispersed chromatin; nuclei may be enlarged hyperchromatic or bizarre (variable atypia)
  • Sustentacular cells are spindled and basophilic
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

AFIP image

Sustentacular cells are S100+

Images hosted on other servers:

Variably sized nests

Moderately pleomorphic

S100, dendritic pattern

Cytology description
  • Low to moderate cellularity
  • Bloody background
  • Cells are polygonal, have moderate to abundant cytoplasm with fine reddish intracytoplasmic granules, slight basophilia, ill defined margins, round-oval nuclei, mild-moderate pleomorphism
Positive stains