C-cell hyperplasia in thyroid tissue adjacent to follicular cell tumors

Jorge Albores-Saavedra, Hector Monforte, Mehrdad Nadji, Azorides R. Morales

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115 Scopus citations


An immunohistochemical study was conducted on the number and distribution of C-cells in the nonneoplastic thyroid tissue adjacent to tumors of follicular cell origin. It consisted of 49 cases, of which 25 were papillary carcinomas, 22 were follicular adenomas, and 2 were follicular carcinomas. Twenty normal adult thyroids from the Broward's Medical Examiner's morgue served as controls. In 17 of the 49 cases (34.6%), there was a statistically significant increase in the number of C-cells in the normal-appearing thyroid tissue adjacent to follicular cell tumors, with at least 50 C-cells in one low power field, while only one of 20 normal thyroids had a similar number of cells. (P=.02; χ2=5.05). In two tumor cases these were more than 100 C-cells in several low power fields with formation of small C-cell nodules similar to those described in the type II Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome (MEN). It was concluded that the nonneoplastic thyroid tissue adjacent to 34.6% of tumors with follicular cell phenotypes contains significantly more C-cells than those present in normal adult thyroids. The possible pathogenesis and clinical significance of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-799
Number of pages5
JournalHuman pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • C-cells
  • calcitonin
  • hyperplasia
  • immunohistochemistry
  • thyroid tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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