Unusual tumors of the thyroid gland

Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2008 Jun;37(2):297-310, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.ecl.2007.12.001.


Thyroid neoplasms are classified into three major categories: epithelial, nonepithelial, and secondary. Most primary epithelial tumors of thyroid are derived from follicular cells. These include follicular adenoma and carcinoma (Hürthle and non-Hürthle), and papillary carcinoma and its variants. Other primary epithelial tumors include medullary carcinoma, mixed medullary and follicular carcinomas, insular and poorly differentiated carcinoma, anaplastic carcinoma, and the least common squamous carcinoma and related tumors. The nonepithelial tumors are rare; the most common include malignant lymphoma and tumors arising from the mesenchymal elements. The secondary tumors represent metastatic tumors to the thyroid usually originating in lung, kidney, and breast. In this article, the authors review the unusual tumors of the thyroid, their morphologic features, and clinical and prognostic implications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / pathology
  • Carcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Papillary / pathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Rare Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Rare Diseases / pathology*
  • Thyroid Gland / pathology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*