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Follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma: a diagnostic challenge for clinicians and pathologists


The follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC) presents a type of papillary thyroid cancer that has created continuous diagnosis and treatment controversies among clinicians and pathologists. In this review, we describe the nomenclature, the clinical features, diagnostic problems and the molecular biology of FVPTC. It is important for clinicians to understand this entity as the diagnosis and management of this group of patient may be different from other patients with conventional PTC. The literature suggests that FVPTC behaves in a way similar, clinically, to conventional papillary thyroid carcinoma. However, there are some genotypic differences which may characterise this neoplasm. These parameters may account for the phenotypic variation described by some scientists in this type of cancer. Further understanding can only be achieved by defining strict pathological criteria, in-depth study of the molecular biology and long term follow-up of the optional patients with FVPTC.

  • papillary thyroid carcinoma
  • follicular variant
  • pathology
  • molecular biology

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