Hürthle cell carcinoma (HCC) represents 3–4% of thyroid carcinoma cases. It is considered to be more aggressive than non-oncocytic thyroid carcinomas. However, due to its rarity, the pathological characteristics and biological behavior of HCC remain to be elucidated. The Hürthle cell is characterized cytologically as a large cell with abundant eosinophilic, granular cytoplasm, and a large hyperchromatic nucleus with a prominent nucleolus. Cytoplasmic granularity is due to the presence of numerous mitochondria. These mitochondria display packed stacking cristae and are arranged in the center. HCC is more often observed in females in their 50–60s. Preoperative diagnosis is challenging, but indicators of malignancy are male, older age, tumor size > 4 cm, a solid nodule with an irregular border, or the presence of psammoma calcifications according to ultrasound. Thyroid lobectomy alone is sufficient treatment for small, unifocal, intrathyroidal carcinomas, or clinically detectable cervical nodal metastases, but total thyroidectomy is recommended for tumors larger than 4 cm. The effectiveness of radioactive iodine is still debated. Molecular changes involve cellular signaling pathways and mitochondria-related DNA. Current knowledge of Hürthle cell carcinoma, including clinical, pathological, and molecular features, with the aim of improving clinical management, is reviewed.
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