Thyroid & parathyroid

Benign thyroid neoplasms


Last author update: 1 September 2014
Last staff update: 31 December 2020

Copyright: 2014-2022,, Inc.

PubMed Search: paraganglioma thyroid

Sheren Younes, M.D.
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Cite this page: Younes S. Paraganglioma. website. Accessed July 6th, 2022.
Definition / general
  • Uncommon neuroendocrine tumor arising from neural crest cells in paraganglia of autonomic nervous system
  • Usually ages 40 - 60 years, female
  • Usually benign behavior
Clinical features
  • Solitary thyroid nodule of long duration
  • May manifest with hypertension
  • Can occur in setting of hereditary paraganglioma syndrome
Case reports
Gross description
  • Usually circumscribed but sometimes infiltrative
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Cells are arranged in organoid (zelbellen) arrangement
  • Chief cells are surrounded by richly vascular septa with sustentacular cells
  • Chief cells are round-oval, with eosinophilic, granular or vacuolated cytoplasm, uniform nuclei, dispersed chromatin; nuclei may be enlarged hyperchromatic or bizarre (variable atypia)
  • Sustentacular cells are spindled and basophilic
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Distinct nesting pattern

Sustentacular cells are S100+

Images hosted on other servers:

Variably sized nests

Moderately pleomorphic

S100, dendritic pattern

Cytology description
  • Low to moderate cellularity
  • Bloody background
  • Cells are polygonal, have moderate to abundant cytoplasm with fine reddish intracytoplasmic granules, slight basophilia, ill defined margins, round-oval nuclei, mild-moderate pleomorphism
Positive stains
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