Non-invasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclearfeatures (NIFTP): a review and update

Bita Geramizadeh, Zahra Maleki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The nomenclature “Non-invasive Follicular Neoplasm with Papillary-like Nuclear Features (NIFTP)” was introduced in 2016. While NIFTP differs from classic papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) in imaging, cytomorphology, histology, molecular profile, treatment, follow up, outcome, and behavior, it largely overlaps with follicular variant of PTC at imaging and cytomorphology. Herein, we review the literature for better understanding NIFTP, and its impact on patient care. Methods: The English literature was thoroughly evaluated with the key word of “Noninvasive follicular neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP)”. Observations: NIFTP presents as a thyroid nodule. On imaging, it is a round-to-oval, well circumscribed mass with solid internal content. Aspirated material shows a microfollicular pattern with focal nuclear features of PTC mostly reported in categories 3–5 of the Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytology (TBRSTC). NIFTP has decreased risk of malignancy in TBRSTC categories 3–6. Histologic examination of NIFTP reveals an encapsulated neoplasm with follicular pattern and nuclear features of PTC with no capsular or vascular invasion. No papillary structure, atypia, or mitosis is present. In contrast to PTC, only 4% of NIFTP cases harbor a BRAF mutation. Because NIFTP carries an excellent prognosis and indolent behavior, the tumor behavior was changed from malignant to a neoplasm with tumor with extremely indolent behavior. The recommended treatment is lobectomy with no further ablation therapy. Until better understanding of NIFTP, patient’s follow up should be occasionally performed by neck ultrasonography and serum thyroglobulin measurement. Conclusion: NIFTP carries an excellent prognosis. It is critical for both clinicians and patients to be aware of extremely indolent behavior of NIFTP in order to prevent unnecessary, aggressive treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Cytology
  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA)
  • Review
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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