Objectives: Hürthle cells (HCs) are follicular-derived oncocytic cells seen in a variety of neoplastic and nonneoplastic pathologic entities of the thyroid gland. This study was to report our experience of the surgical outcome on the finding of HCs on fine-needle aspiration biopsies (FNABs) of thyroid nodules, to identify cytologic predictors of HC neoplasms and an attempt to overcome diagnostic pitfalls. Study Design: This was a retrospective study of all FNAB of thyroid nodules with findings of HCs with subsequent surgical resection. The FNAB slides of 70 thyroid nodules were blindly reviewed for specific cytomorphologic characteristics. The cytologic findings were correlated with the corresponding final surgical pathology diagnosis. Results: The patients ranged in age from 25 to 78 years with a male:female ratio of 1:2. There were 19 false-negative and 4 false-positive cases. Overall high cellularity, scant colloid and >90% HCs on FNAB are consistently seen in a neoplastic HC process. All cases of Hashimoto's thyroiditis were associated with prominent nucleoli and 92% of cases demonstrating transgressing vessels were neoplastic. Conclusion: Diagnostic accuracy can be improved by following the current Bethesda classification system. A constellation of cytomorphologic features in conjunction with clinical findings can be considered a strong predictor of a neoplastic process.
- Fine-needle aspiration biopsy
- Hürthle cell