Characterization of “suspicious for malignancy” for non-papillary carcinoma diagnoses on thyroid fine-needle aspiration

Sayanan Chowsilpa, Robert Jones, Jen Fan Hang, Syed Z. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: To evaluate the incidence, risk of malignancy, and management of “suspicious for malignancy” (SFM) for non-papillary carcinoma diagnoses according to The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (TBSRTC). Materials and methods: A retrospective search was performed for all thyroid fine-needle aspirations (FNAs) with an SFM diagnosis in the electronic Pathology database at The Johns Hopkins Hospital from 2000 to 2019. During this period, a total of 644 cases were diagnosed as SFM. Of these, 55 cases of “suspicious for non-papillary thyroid carcinoma” (SNPTC) were identified. These 55 cases were then compared with 65 random cases of “suspicious for papillary thyroid carcinomas” (SPTC) diagnoses as a control group. Results: The SNPTC subgroup consisted of 28 cases of “suspicious for medullary thyroid carcinoma” (SMTC) (50.91%), 4 cases of “suspicious for metastasis” (SMET) (7.27%), 3 cases of “suspicious for malignant lymphoma” (SML) (5.45%), 2 cases of “suspicious for poorly-differentiated thyroid carcinoma” (SPDC) (3.64%), and 18 cases of “suspicious for malignancy, not otherwise specified” (SNOS) (32.73%). When compared to SPTC, SNPTC patients’ average age was older (P = 0.004). Ancillary studies assisted in diagnosing SNPTC more so than SPTC (P < 0.001). Immunohistochemical studies were performed for 11 cases, molecular studies for 6 cases, and needle rinse calcitonin level for 1 case. When correlated with surgical follow-ups, the risk of malignancy (ROM) was 91.18% for SNPTC compared to 93.75 for SPTC%. Conclusions: SNPTC was rarely diagnosed when compared with SPTC. SMTC was the most commonly diagnosed SNPTC subgroup, followed by SNOS. The ROM of SNPTC was slightly lower than that of SPTC. Ancillary studies and previous clinical history, in addition to cytomorphology, was helpful when rendering the diagnosis of SNPTC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-154
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society of Cytopathology
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Keywords

  • FNA
  • Suspicious for malignancy
  • Suspicious for non-papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • Suspicious for papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (TBSRTC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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