Differential diagnosis of hürthle cell neoplasms on fine needle aspirates: Can We do any better with morphometry?

Stefan E. Pambuccian, Robert L. Becker, Syed Z. Ali, Kay Savik, Dorothy L. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the value of computerized interactive morphometry in the preoperative prediction of malignancy in fine needle aspirates of Hürthle cell neoplasms. STUDY DESIGN: Alcoholfixed, Papanicolaou-stained fine needle aspiration smears of histologically proven Hürthle cell adenomas (HCA) (n=10) and Hürthle cell carcinomas (HCC) (n=9) were studied by interactive computerized morphometry. The measured features included the areas, perimeters and shape factors of individual cells, nuclei and nucleoli; the nucleocytoplasmic and nucleolonuclear ratios; and the eccentricities of nuclei and nucleoli. RESULTS: Only nucleolar features showed statistically significant differences between HCA and HCC. These features were the nucleolar area and its standard deviation, the nucleolar form factor and circularity, and the nucleolonuclear ratio. The most effective, albeit imperfect, discrimination was achieved by the nucleolar form factor. CONCLUSION: Nucleolar features, such as size, variation in size and roundness, may be more effective than cellular or nuclear features in differentiating between HCA and HCC in fine needle aspiration smears.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-208
Number of pages12
JournalActa cytologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1997


  • Aspiration biopsy
  • Hürthle cell (oxyphilic) neoplasms
  • Morphometry
  • Nucleolus
  • Thyroid neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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