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We report two cases of follicular adenoma of the thyroid with extensive extracellular mucin deposition. Fine needle aspiration in Case 1 showed singly discohesive polygonal cells in a granular mucinous background. They contained abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, nuclear irregularities, and frequent nuclear inclusions with occasional bizarre mitoses. A right lobectomy was done. In Case 2, a 47-year-old Caucasian woman with multinodular goiter had total thyroidectomy and a yellow-tan nodule was found within the right lobe. Both tumors were well-encapsulated masses with thick capsules. Each was characterized by microfollicles without papillae in a mucinous stroma. Tumor cells were positive for thyroglobulin and negative for calcitonin, CEA, galectin-3, HBME-1, and CK19. The extracellular mucin stained with Alcian-blue and colloidal iron but not with mucicarmine and D-PAS. No BRAF gene mutation was detected. Because there were neither capsular nor vascular invasions, both cases were diagnosed as follicular adenomas of the thyroid with extensive extracellular mucin deposition, which as proposed by the WHO classification can be categorized as a mucinous variant of follicular adenoma. Retrospectively, frequent nuclear inclusions and the absence of nuclear grooves in the mucin-containing background of cytologic smears and histologic sections were shared by those of mucin-producing papillary carcinoma. It is unclear whether it belongs to an existing category of thyroid neoplasm with mucin production or whether it is truly a new tumor variant. Furthermore, pathologists should pay attention to avoid misdiagnosis of this variant of follicular neoplasm that shows an overlapping cytology with that of papillary carcinoma.
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