Poorly differentiated oncocytic thyroid carcinoma--diagnostic implications and outcome

Histopathology. 2012 Jun;60(7):1045-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2559.2012.04188.x. Epub 2012 Feb 20.


Aims: Poorly differentiated thyroid carcinomas (PDTC) are an ongoing diagnostic challenge. Although the Turin consensus criteria for PDTC excluded consideration of oncocytic tumours, the World Health Organization (WHO) classification does recognise an oncocytic variant of conventional PDTC. The aims of this study were to establish whether the Turin criteria can be applied to oncocytic PDTC, and to determine if there are prognostic differences between conventional and oncocytic PDTC.

Methods and results: We applied the Turin criteria to 129 thyroid carcinomas. We identified 18 oncocytic PDTC and 16 conventional PDTC. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed a significantly worse outcome for oncocytic PDTC with regard to overall and tumour-specific survival but no difference for relapse-free survival, all of which were confirmed by multivariate analysis. There was no association of survival with gender, age or tumour stage.

Conclusions: The Turin criteria can be applied to oncocytic PDTC and patients with this variant have a decreased survival using conventional radioiodine treatment compared to conventional PDTC and might therefore be candidates for novel treatment modalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / diagnosis
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / mortality
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / pathology*
  • Adenoma, Oxyphilic / radiotherapy
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / mortality
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Iodine Radioisotopes