Background The follicular variant of papillary thyroid cancer (FVPTC), especially the encapsulated non-invasive subtype, is a controversial entity. Recent study suggested using ‘non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP)’ for these indolent carcinomas. We evaluated the impact of reclassification from non-invasive encapsulated FVPTCs (EFVPTCs) to NIFTPs in the diagnosis of thyroid nodules with architectural atypia. Methods We reviewed 1301 thyroid nodules with architectural atypia in core needle biopsy (CNB) specimens obtained from March 2012 to February 2013. Nodules were classified into atypia of undetermined significance with architectural atypia (AUS-A, 984, 76%) or follicular neoplasm/suspicious for a follicular neoplasm (FN/SFN, 317, 24%). Among them, diagnostic surgery was performed in 384 nodules (30%). Results In total, 160 nodules (42%) presented final malignant diagnoses including 39 non-invasive encapsulated FVPTCs (10%). The malignancy rate was estimated to be 7–35% in AUS-A nodules and 28–49% in FN/SFN nodules. After reclassification, the malignancy rate was much decreased and estimated to be 5–24% in AUS-A nodules, and 23–39% in FN/SFN nodules. Thyroid nodules with final malignant diagnoses were significantly more likely to have a FN/SFN CNB diagnosis, malignant US features and concomitant nuclear atypia in CNB specimens. However, these factors could not differentiate NIFTPs from other malignancies. Conclusions After reclassification of non-invasive EFVPTCs to NIFTPs, the malignancy rate of thyroid nodules with architectural atypia in CNB specimens was decreased. However, there were no preoperative factors differentiating other malignancies from NIFTPs. The presence of malignant US features or concomitant nuclear atypia might help clinicians deciding diagnostic surgery but, these features also might indicate NIFTPs.
Jeon, M. J., Song, D. E., Jung, C. K., Kim, W. G., Kwon, H., Lee, Y. M., … Kim, W. B. (2016). Impact of reclassification on thyroid nodules with architectural atypia: From non-invasive encapsulated follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinomas to non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features. PLoS ONE, 11(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0167756