Pre-operative Cytologic Diagnosis of Noninvasive Follicular Thyroid Neoplasm with Papillary-like Nuclear Features (NIFTP): A Prospective Analysis.

Research paper by Kyle C KC Strickland, Marina M Vivero, Vickie Y VY Jo, Alarice C AC Lowe, Monica M Hollowell, Xiaohua X Qian, Tad T Wieczorek, Christopher C French, Lisa L Teot, Peter M PM Sadow, Erik K EK Alexander, Edmund E Cibas, Justine J Barletta, Jeffrey F JF Krane

Indexed on: 28 Jul '16Published on: 28 Jul '16Published in: Thyroid : official journal of the American Thyroid Association


The term noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) has been proposed to replace noninvasive follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC) in recognition of the indolent behavior of this tumor. The ability to differentiate NIFTP from classical papillary thyroid carcinoma (cPTC) by fine needle aspiration (FNA) would facilitate conservative management for NIFTP. The aim of this study was to determine if NIFTP can be distinguished prospectively from cPTC.From June 2015 to January 2016, thyroid FNAs with a diagnosis of "Malignant" or "Suspicious for Malignancy" were prospectively scored for features associated with NIFTP/FVPTC (microfollicular architecture) or cPTC (papillae, psammomatous calcifications, sheet-like architecture, and nuclear pseudoinclusions) and categorized as NIFTP/FVPTC, cPTC, or indeterminate. Results were correlated with subsequent histologic diagnoses.The study included 52 patients with 56 resected nodules with a cytologic diagnosis of "Malignant" (43/56) or "Suspicious for Malignancy" (13/56). 49 patients (94%) underwent initial total thyroidectomy. Histopathologic diagnoses included 42 cPTC, 8 NIFTP, 3 invasive FVPTC, 2 follicular adenomas, and 1 poorly differentiated carcinoma. Excluding 7 indeterminate cases, 89% (8/9) of nodules classified as NIFTP/FVPTC on FNA demonstrated follicular-patterned lesions on histology (5 NIFTP, 1 invasive FVPTC, 2 follicular adenomas). Cytopathologists prospectively identified cPTC in 95% (38/40) of cases.In thyroid FNAs with cytologic features concerning for PTC, NIFTP/FVPTC can be distinguished from cPTC in most cases by assessing a limited number of features. Therefore, it is both feasible and appropriate to attempt to separate NIFTP/FVPTC from cPTC on FNA to promote appropriate clinical management.