CONTEXT: Papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) is the most common thyroid malignancy accounting for 80% of the thyroid cancers. Many histopathologic variants of PTC have been recognized, and few of these are of prognostic significance. The studies on clinicopathological features of PTC and its variants are so far seldom reported in India. AIM: The aim of the study was to study the percentage distribution of PTC among total thyroid specimens, the age and sex distribution of PTC, its histopathological features including frequency of nuclear findings, and various histological subtypes are also studied in detail. Methods: All cases of PTC diagnosed in our department from April 2003 to March 2013 formed the material for the study. The tissues were routinely processed and stained. On microscopic examination, tumors were classified according to 2004 WHO classification. RESULTS: PTC formed the predominant type of malignancy accounting to 71% of the total cases. Of these, about 75% of patients were in the second to fifth decade. Male to female ratio was 1:5.4. Other than the usual classic variant and follicular variant, we also found rare types such as clear cell variant, tall cell type, oncocytic type, and macrofollicular variant. Microscopically, nuclear overcrowding and ground glass nuclei were seen in more than 90% of cases. Nodular goiter, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, and follicular adenoma were associated lesions in some cases. CONCLUSION: PTC is the most common thyroid malignancy, and it can affect any age group though it presents mostly in the third to fourth decade of life. Recognition of histological subtype is crucial in patient prognosis.
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