Prevalence and diagnostic challenges of thyroid lymphoma: a multi-institutional study in non-Western countries

Mitsuyoshi Hirokawa, Ayana Suzuki, Yuko Hashimoto, Shinya Satoh, Sule Canberk, Jie Yang Jhuang, Chan Kwon Jung, Nichthida Tangnuntachai, Bozidar Kovacevic, Yun Zhu, Shipra Agarwal, Kennichi Kakudo

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Research on the primary thyroid lymphoma (PTL) diagnosis is limited, with only a few large sample size studies, reported from Asian countries. The aim of the present study was to clarify the current prevalence and challenges in PTL diagnosis, and recommended ancillary studies for PTL in non-Western countries. PTL (n = 153) cases were retrieved from 10 institutions in non-Western countries and analyzed. Ultrasound examination (UE) and fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) were used as main preoperative diagnostic tools in all participating institutions. Flow cytometry (FCM) was performed in the 5 institutions (50%). Lobectomy was the most common histological procedure to confirm the PTL diagnosis. All institutions routinely performed immuno-histochemical analysis. PTL was 0.54% of malignant thyroid tumor cases, with mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma (MALTL) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) being 54.9% and 38.6%, respectively. Kuma Hospital, where the frequency of MALTL was highest (83.7%), routinely performed FCM using the materials obtained by FNAC. UE and FNAC sensitivities were 62.5% and 57.8%, respectively. In both UE and FNAC, sensitivity of MALTL was lower than of DLBCL. The study elucidated that the prevalence of PTL in non-Western countries was lower than previously reported. We propose that FCM should be more actively used to improve the preoperative diagnosis of MALTL. Our data predicted that the MALTL proportion will increase with improved diagnostic tools, while observation of PTL-suspected nodules without histological examination remains a viable option.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEndocrine journal
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jul 9 2020
Externally publishedYes


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