Quantitative assessment of oxyphilic cell lesions of the thyroid gland on fine needle aspiration samples

P. Zeppa, G. Benincasa, G. Troncone, A. Zabatta, F. Fulciniti, A. Vetrani, E. A. Palmieri, L. Palombini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: To assess the possible contribution by a multiparametric quantitative approach to the cytologic diagnosis of oxyphilic cell (OC) thyroid lesions. STUDY DESIGN: Ten cases of chronic lymphocytic (Hashimoto) thyroiditis and 10 nodular goiters containing oxyphilic cells plus 20 cases of tumors subsequently classified as oxyphilic cell adenomas (10 cases) or oxyphilic cell well-differentiated carcinomas (10 cases) were evaluated. The study was performed on May-Grünwald-Giemsa-stained smears for planimetric measurements. The same smears were destained and Feulgen restained for densitometric measurements. The latter were performed using static cytometry equipment measuring 100 and 20-30 lymphocytes per case for the determination of integrated optical density (IOD). The following parameters were considered: nuclear area, perimeter, maximum diameter, form ELL, form PE, IOD, 5c exceeding rate (5cER) and visual classification of histograms as euploid, polyploid and aneuploid. RESULTS: Mean nuclear area of carcinomas was smaller than that of adenomas, goiter and thyroiditis. Nuclear area was larger in adenomas than in other benign lesions and carcinomas. All the other planimetric parameters were similar in the lesions examined. Four carcinomas and three adenomas were aneuploid, and all the rest were euploid. All the cases of thyroiditis and goiter were euploid or polyploid; four thyroiditis cases showed polyploid histograms and 5cER values > 1. CONCLUSION: Morphometric and densitometric procedures have a limited role in the discrimination of OC lesions, but small nuclear area values may be useful in distinguishing OC carcinoma from other lesions. The role of densitometry seems even more limited because aneuploid histograms may be found among adenomas and carcinomas. Further studies are needed to explain polyploidy and 5cER > 1 in Hashimoto thyroiditis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-184
Number of pages7
JournalAnalytical and Quantitative Cytology and Histology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Adenoma
  • Aspiration biopsy
  • Morphometry
  • Oxyphilic
  • Thyroid neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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