Follicular thyroid carcinoma

Mod Pathol. 2011 Apr:24 Suppl 2:S10-8. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2010.133.


Follicular thyroid carcinoma is being diagnosed less and less frequently despite the increasing incidence of well-differentiated thyroid carcinomas everywhere. This review will discuss the reasons underlying such an observation focusing on the evolution of the morphological and immunohistochemical diagnostic criteria of follicular thyroid tumors. It will address the differential diagnosis between follicular carcinoma and three tumor types--follicular adenoma, follicular variant of papillary carcinoma and poorly differentiated carcinoma--as well as the problems raised by the newly described categories of follicular tumors: follicular tumor of uncertain malignant potential, well-differentiated tumor of uncertain malignant potential and well-differentiated carcinoma, not otherwise specified. Finally, the prognostic and therapeutic significance of some promising molecular biomarkers will be discussed within the frame of the aforementioned histopathological classification.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular / secondary
  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma, Papillary / secondary
  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenoma / metabolism
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / diagnosis
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor