Thyroid gland
Papillary carcinoma
Warthin-like variant

Topic Completed: 1 March 2009

Revised: 26 April 2019

Copyright: 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Warthin-like variant thyroid

Shahid Islam, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2018: 2,042
Page views in 2019 to date: 1,052
Cite this page: Islam S. Warthin-like variant. website. Accessed July 17th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Features of oncocytic variant of papillary carcinoma plus brisk lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate in papillary stalks
  • Rare, usually women, resembles the salivary gland tumor
  • Usually no nodal or distant metastases (Ear Nose Throat J 2006;85:56)
  • Similar behavior to classic papillary carcinoma (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2000;124:1192)
Case reports
  • 44 year old woman with 5 year history of diffuse multinodular goiter with enlarging thyroid gland (Case of the Week #386)
Gross description
  • Tumors usually 2 cm or smaller
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Circumscribed, papillary, centrally cystic, cells have oncocytic cytoplasm, papillary nuclear features; brisk lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate in papillary stalks
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Images hosted on PathOut server:

Contributed by Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D.:

Enlarged papillae

Lymphoid follicle with germinal center

Oncocytic epithelium and dense lymphocytic infiltration

Background Hashimoto thyroiditis

Case of the Week #386:

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Prominent chronic inflammatory infiltrate

Fig. 5: prominent lymphoplasmacytic stromal infiltrate

Cytology description
  • Cellular smears with Hürthle cells in 3-dimensional groups, papillary fragments and as single cells with prominent lymphocytes and occasional plasma cells; Hürthle cells have granular eosinophilic cytoplasm, eccentric and pleomorphic nuclei and prominent nucleoli; papillary carcinoma nuclear features are present (Endocr Pathol 1998;9:317)
Molecular / cytogenetics description
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