Thyroid & parathyroid

Papillary thyroid carcinoma

Follicular patterned


Topic Completed: 1 March 2009

Minor changes: 12 January 2021

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: papillary carcinoma macrofollicular variant

Shahid Islam, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2020: 700
Page views in 2021 to date: 816
Cite this page: Islam S. Macrofollicular. website. Accessed December 3rd, 2021.
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

Contributed by Shuanzeng Wei, M.D., Ph.D.

Nodal metastasis, macrofollicular variant PTC

Nodal metastasis, macrofollicular variant PTC

Cytology description
Differential diagnosis
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