Noninvasive follicular neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP): a 13-year retrospective review at Jordan University Hospital

Endocrine. 2020 Aug;69(2):339-346. doi: 10.1007/s12020-020-02299-0. Epub 2020 Apr 22.


Objective: Noninvasive follicular neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) is the term to describe what was previously known as encapsulated follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma. This new paradigm shift was agreed upon by experts in the field. The objective of this study is to evaluate cases previously diagnosed as follicular adenomas, follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma and hyperplastic nodules to be reclassified as NIFTP according to the new criteria. Furthermore, the clinical follow-up of these NIFTP cases is evaluated.

Methods: This retrospective study reviewed potential NIFTP cases over the last 13 years, at Jordan University Hospital.

Results: A total of 811 thyroid surgery reports were identified and revised to identify the potential NIFTP cases. The review yielded 173 cases identified as potential NIFTP cases. Further pathological slide review resulted in a revised diagnosis of 32 cases of NIFTP according to the new criteria. The NIFTP cases comprised 4% of the total number of thyroidectomy cases and 16.1% of the total pool of previously diagnosed papillary thyroid carcinoma cases at our institution. While 111 cases retained their original diagnosis. Follow-up showed that all patients are alive and well with no evidence of disease.

Conclusion: Patients with NIFTP are not uncommon and the diagnosis is made only after a thorough evaluation of excision. Therefore, initial conservative management of solitary thyroid nodules suspicious for NIFTP in the form of lobectomy is recommended to avoid unnecessary total thyroidectomies. Our follow-up of NIFTP cases is similar to all previous reports.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Follicular* / diagnosis
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Jordan
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thyroid Neoplasms* / diagnosis