Thyroid gland
Papillary thyroid carcinoma
Follicular patterned

Topic Completed: 1 March 2009

Minor changes: 16 July 2020

Copyright: 2003-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: papillary carcinoma macrofollicular variant

Shahid Islam, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2019: 586
Page views in 2020 to date: 322
Cite this page: Islam S. Macrofollicular. website. Accessed August 3rd, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Macrofollicles (large dilated follicles) > 50% of cross sectional area, with papillary nuclear features
  • Very rare; similar clinical features as classic papillary carcinoma (female predominant, occasional nodal metastases, few deaths)
  • May have minor (< 5%) insular component that does not appear to affect prognosis (Cancer 1997;80:1110)
Gross description
  • Mean 3 cm, often encapsulated
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Frequent macrofollicles (> 50% of cross sectional area) and foci of follicular variant of papillary carcinoma, all with prominent, large ground glass nuclei and nuclear grooves (Hum Pathol 1991;22:1195)
  • Also cells with large but less pale nuclei with stippled chromatin, or cuboidal cells with hyperchromatic nuclei
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images (figures 1 - 3, 6)

Cytology description
Differential diagnosis
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