Author(s): Okayasu I, Fujiwara M, Hara Y
BACKGROUND: An association between lymphocytic thyroiditis and thyroid papillary carcinoma is still controversial. To determine a definite statistical relation, a histopathologic study was performed on tissues from in three races, because there is a racial and age-related difference in the susceptibility to thyroiditis. METHODS: The prevalence and severity of thyroiditis combined with adenomatous goiter, follicular adenoma, or papillary carcinoma was defined by examination of surgically resected materials from Japanese (626 patients), and white and African Americans (330 and 90 patients, respectively). RESULTS: The prevalence of lymphocytic infiltrates, which are indicative of autoimmune thyroiditis, was significantly higher in patients with papillary carcinoma than in patients with adenomatous goiter or follicular adenoma among Japanese females (63.0%) and males (50.0%), white females (76.0%), and African American females (46.2%). Lymphocyte infiltration into the follicular adenoma or papillary carcinoma correlated with the severity of combined thyroiditis. CONCLUSION: An association between chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and papillary carcinoma was confirmed in the Japanese, and white and African American populations. The possibility of autoimmune thyroiditis as a predisposing factor for papillary thyroid carcinoma, is suggested.