The Flip Side of NIFTP: an Increase in Rates of Unfavorable Histologic Parameters in the Remainder of Papillary Thyroid Carcinomas.


Journal Article

The term noninvasive follicular thyroid neoplasm with papillary-like nuclear features (NIFTP) was recently proposed to replace noninvasive follicular variant of papillary thyroid carcinoma (FVPTC) both to promote more conservative management of these tumors and spare patients the psychological burden of a cancer diagnosis. This reclassification will lower the incidence of papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC). In addition, it could result in an increase in the rates of unfavorable histologic prognosticators for PTC overall because NIFTPs had previously accounted for many of the PTCs without these features. Our aim was to evaluate the potential impact of the reclassification of NIFTP on the rates of extrathyroidal extension, lymphovascular invasion, and lymph node metastases in PTC. We identified all PTCs clinically over 1 cm diagnosed on surgical resection between August 2010 and August 2012. The histopathologic characteristics, including PTC subtype, tumor size, presence of extrathyroidal extension and lymphovascular invasion, and surgical margin and lymph node status were all recorded. Based on these parameters, cases were classified according to the American Thyroid Association (ATA) risk stratification system for structural disease recurrence. Tumor slides for cases initially diagnosed as FVPTC were reviewed to identify tumors that would now be classified as NIFTPs. Our cohort included 348 cases of PTC, of which 94 (27%) would now be classified as NIFTPs. After excluding NIFTPs from the PTC category, there were increased rates of extrathyroidal extension (26% up from 19%, p = 0.046), lymphovascular invasion (37% up from 27%, p = 0.0099), and lymph node metastases (26% up from 19%, p = 0.045) among the remaining PTCs. Based on these changes in histologic features, 10% fewer cases were defined as ATA low risk (62% down from 72%, p = 0.0081). Our results indicate that the downgrading of some carcinomas to NIFTP will increase the rates of higher risk histologic parameters in the remaining PTCs by statistically significant margins. Although the overall survival for PTC is very high and would likely not be changed significantly by the introduction of NIFTP, additional studies evaluating the impact of the NIFTP shift are warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Wong, KS; Strickland, KC; Angell, TE; Nehs, MA; Alexander, EK; Cibas, ES; Krane, JF; Howitt, BE; Barletta, JA

Published Date

  • June 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 28 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 171 - 176

PubMed ID

  • 28271380

Pubmed Central ID

  • 28271380

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1559-0097

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s12022-017-9476-5


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States