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Keywords:

  • thyroid;
  • ITET;
  • CASTLE;
  • mucoepidermoid carcinoma;
  • intracytoplasmic lumina;
  • keratinization

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to describe the cytologic findings of intrathyroidal epithelial thymoma/carcinoma showing thymus-like differentiation (ITET/CASTLE) in detail and discuss its differential diagnoses. We examined cytologic specimens taken from eight ITET/CASTLE cases, who underwent fine needle aspiration. Cytologic features of ITET/CASTLE include (1) hypercellularity, (2) large cell clusters without papillary or follicular pattern, (3) round or spindle tumor cells with distinct nucleoli and cell border, (4) few keratinized cells and intracytoplasmic lumina (ICL), and (5) lymphocytic background. The differential diagnoses included poorly differentiated carcinoma, metastatic lymphoepithelioma, squamous cell carcinoma, and mucoepidermoid carcinoma. The presence of individual keratinizing cells and ICL and the location of the tumor may be helpful in indicating ITET/CASTLE. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2012;40:E16–E20. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.