The diagnosis of primary thyroid lymphoma by fine-needle aspiration, cell block, and immunohistochemistry technique


Huang CG, et al. Diagn Cytopathol 2020.


AIM: Primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) is a rare malignant disease. Its prognosis depends on early diagnosis. The role of fine-needle aspiration (FNA), including smear cytology, cell block (CB) techniques, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) sections in the diagnosis of PTL is still unclear. Here we reported 19 cases of PTL and literature review to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy for lymphoma by cytology.

METHODS: Our study retrospectively reviewed 19 patients diagnosed with PTL at the affiliated hospital of Southwest Medical University in China from June 2011 to May 2019. According to the Bethesda system for reporting thyroid cytopathology, the CB sections were evaluated for the presence of single tumor cells. IHC was performed on CB.

RESULTS: The diagnostic accuracy for PTL of FNA, CB with smears, and the joint application of the three methods (FNA + CB + IHC) of our study with 19 cases was 68.4% (13/19), 83.3% (15/18), and 100% (17/17), respectively.

CONCLUSION: The present study demonstrates that FNA has low sensitivity in diagnosing PTL, but the joint application of FNA, CB, and IHC might provide high diagnostic accuracy for lymphoma and should be applied in all cases where the clinical suspicion is high regardless of the FNA findings.