Hurthle cell

by Jason Wasserman MD PhD FRCPC
June 3, 2022

What is a Hurthle cell?

A Hurthle cell is a type of thyroid gland cell. Hurthle cells are found in both non-cancerous and cancerous conditions. Hurthle cell adenoma is a non-cancerous tumour made up of Hurthle cells. Hurtle cell carcinoma is a cancerous type of tumour made up of Hurthle cells. Hurthle cells can also be found in a variety of other non-cancerous conditions in the thyroid gland such as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis and nodular follicular hyperplasia. Pathologists often use the term Hurthle cell metaplasia when describing Hurthle cells in these conditions. When examined under the microscope, Hurthle cells are much larger than the follicular cells normally found in the thyroid gland and the cytoplasm (body) of the cell is full of bright pink material. A large group of genetic material called a nucleolus is also typically found in the center of the nucleus (the part of the cell that holds the genetic material).

Hurthle cells

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