Thyroid gland
Papillary carcinoma
Encapsulated variant

Topic Completed: 1 March 2009

Minor changes: 31 March 2020

Copyright: 2003-2018,, 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: 731
Cite this page: Islam S. Encapsulated variant. website. Accessed May 24th, 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

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
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