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Open access

Adela Nechifor-Boilă, Edit Dee and Angela Borda

Abstract

Introduction. The encapsulated, non-invasive subtype of follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC) represents approximately 10% to 20% of all thyroid cancers. Many studies over the past decade have shown that these tumors carry an indolent clinical course, with no recurrence, even in patients treated by lobectomy. Their reclassification as neoplasms with “very low malignant potential” has recently been suggested by an international group of experts and a new terminology was proposed: “non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features” (NIFTP). However, a diagnosis of NIFTP is still challenging for many pathologists in daily practice. Presentation of case series. By presenting six illustrative cases of NIFTP, this article aims to highlight the diagnostic criteria and the burden difficulties when dealing with NIFTP cases. Characteristic histological features, inclusion and exclusion criteria for NIFTP, as well as sampling guidelines and differential diagnosis challenges are all discussed. Conclusions. The diagnosis of NIFTP is not straightforward and requires meeting strict inclusion and exclusion criteria. Total sampling of the tumor capsule in these cases is mandatory in order to exclude invasion (capsular and/or vascular). A diagnosis of NIFTP promotes a less-aggressive patient management that is, no need for completion thyroidectomy or radioactive iodine therapy.