Cytologic findings in thyroglossal duct carcinoma

Ricardo H. Bardales, Mark J. Suhrland, Soheila Korourian, Robert F. Schaefer, Ehab Y. Hanna, Michael W. Stanley

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58 Scopus citations


Approximately 150 cases of thyroglossal duct carcinoma, predominantly of the papillary type, have been reported, but the preoperative fine-needle aspiration (FNA) diagnosis of such neoplasms has rarely been cited. The authors describe FNA findings in four samples obtained from three patients who were 29, 50, and 83 years of age, histologically diagnosed as papillary (n = 2) and squamous (n = 1) thyroglossal duct carcinomas. Atypia and squamous cell carcinoma were the FNA diagnoses in the patients with papillary carcinomas. The remaining case was correctly diagnosed as keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma. Cellularity was scant in two cases and moderate in one, and all displayed a cystic background. The authors also reviewed FNA features in 11 papillary and 2 Hurthle cell carcinomas from the English language literature; diagnostic findings were present in less than one third of the cases. In conclusion, familiarity with the FNA findings of thyroglossal duct carcinoma is limited by its rarity. The presence of large, atypical squamous cells, or psammoma bodies, in the FNA material of a midline anterior cystic neck mass should suggest papillary thyroglossal duct carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-619
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996


  • Aspiration biopsy
  • Cytology
  • Papillary carcinoma
  • Thyroglossal duct cyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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