Endocrine Journal
Online ISSN : 1348-4540
Print ISSN : 0918-8959
ISSN-L : 0918-8959
Ultrasonographic features and clinical characteristics of Warthin-like variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma
Ga Ram KimJung Hee ShinSoo Yeon HahnEun Young KoYoung Lyun Oh
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2016 Volume 63 Issue 4 Pages 329-335


Warthin-like variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (WVPTC) is a rare entity recently characterized. We evaluated ultrasonographic (US) features and clinical characteristics of WVPTC. Nine patients were diagnosed with WVPTC through surgery in our institution from May 2005 to January 2015. Eight of nine patients had available preoperative US images. A retrospective review of the US and clinical characteristics was performed. WVPTC compromised of 0.06% of 14,071 PTCs surgically confirmed. A mean age of nine patients was 53.2 years (range, 32-75 years). The mean nodule size of nine WVPTCs was 0.9 cm (range, 0.5-1.5 cm). Two patients showed central nodal metastasis and one patient with conventional PTC as an index tumor underwent central and lateral neck dissection. No one showed recurrence or distant metastasis during the follow-up period (mean, 4.6 years; range, 0.6-10 years). The most common US features of WVPTCs were solid composition (62.5%), hypoechogenicity (75%), and wider-than-tall shape (100%), respectively. Four (50%) of eight nodules showed well-defined margin and three (37.5%) of them had cystic component. One of eight resembled focal thyroiditis. Three nodules were considered as probably benign with US. All nine cases demonstrated underlying heterogeneous parenchymal echogenicity and accompanied chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis in permanent sections. Thyroid function tests in all patients were normal except for one with subclinical hypothyroidism. WVPTC is an uncommon subtype of PTC and has favorable prognosis, which can be misdiagnosed as a probably benign nodule or focal thyroiditis with US. All cases are associated with heterogeneous parenchyma in the background.

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