Thyroid gland
Papillary carcinoma
Solid variant

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

Revised: 1 February 2017, last major update March 2009

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

PubMed Search: solid variant papillary thyroid carcinoma
Cite this page: Solid variant. website. Accessed June 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • 50 - 70% or more solid growth pattern with papillary cytologic features, without necrosis
  • Rare in adults (3% of all papillary carcinomas)
  • In children, solid / trabecular variant is very common, has higher risk of relapse (Am J Surg Pathol 2006;30:1420)
  • Also seen in post Chernobyl cases associated with RET / PTC3 rearrangement (J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1999;84:4232)
Prognostic factors
  • Associated with slightly poorer prognosis and slightly more distant metastases than classic papillary carcinoma, but better prognosis than poorly differentiated carcinoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:1478)
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Unencapsulated with invasive borders
  • Composed of round solid nests resembling filled up follicles, surrounded by fibrous / hyaline stroma
  • May have vague papillary or follicular formations
  • Nuclear features of papillary carcinoma are present
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Solid architecture traversed by delicate fibrous septa

Classic nuclear features of papillary thyroid carcinoma

Fig 3D: RET staining

Fig C: focal RET staining

Cytology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Solid aggregates of epithelial follicular cells

Monolayered epithelial cellular sheets

Enlarged nuclei
with fine chromatin,
occasional nuclear

Electron microscopy description