Papillary thyroid carcinoma has a number of unique morphologic features. I mentioned psammoma bodies a few days ago. Illustrated above is another characteristic feature: Orphan Annie nuclei. These are so named because they have a “cleared-out” appearance, similar to Little Orphan Annie’s eyes. In fact, you can think of papillary thyroid carcinoma as the Little Orphan Annie tumor because:
1. It stays around for years and years without getting any bigger (papillary carcinoma is slow growing).
2. It is well-behaved and seldom kills people (overall, the 10-year survival for papillary carcinoma is >90%, which is better than the prognosis of any of the other types of thyroid carcinoma).
3. The nuclei resemble Little Orphan Annie’s eyes.
4. It often has psammoma bodies (derived from the Greek psammos, or sand): Annie’s dog is named Sandy.
I wish I could say I came up with this, but it comes from Ed’s Pathology Notes, a really wonderful pathology site for students (and anyone interested in pathology) at www.pathguy.com.
- Kristine said Hi Cynthia – Yes!! I totally agree. I remember learning that if you see any secondary granulat...
- Cynthia said I’m going to have agree with the granules being the most important. I’m also MT and I...
- AG said Thanks Kristine, very helpful!
- Frank MD said Succinctly explained. Excellent! Thank you so much!!
- kartik said Thanks,i am learner,when i think hypothtically,i think i may find confusing beetween promyelocyte an...
- Carol said Thanks…. Well explained
- Ulyses Yakovlevich said This looks like an awesome tool for future Pathologists to learn from :).
- Chief said Amazing explanation. No other website teaches this interesting and important medical lesson. Not eve...
- Dr.Kisor Kumar Pal said Very helpful and practical discussion.I learned a lot.
- Cheri said Thank you ! I’m a traveler in Pathology/Histology
- Dr. Syed Mahbub Baksh said During my residency years, I have read only two books: Robbins Pathology and Henry’s Clinical...
- Theresa said Thanks for breaking this down in a simple way to understand it. Well done.