Research Papers:

This article has been corrected. Correction in: Oncotarget. 2018; 9:16271.

A comparison of the clinicopathological features and prognoses of the classical and the tall cell variant of papillary thyroid cancer: a meta-analysis

Zeming Liu, Wen Zeng, Tianwen Chen, Yawen Guo, Chao Zhang, Chunping Liu and Tao Huang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:6222-6232. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.14055

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Zeming Liu1,*, Wen Zeng2,*, Tianwen Chen1, Yawen Guo1, Chao Zhang3, Chunping Liu1,*, Tao Huang1,*

1Department of Breast and Thyroid Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430022, China

2Department of Ophthalmology, Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China

3Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Tao Huang, email: [email protected]

Chunping Liu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: papillary thyroid carcinoma, tall cell variant, clinicopathological features, mortality risk, meta–analysis

Received: November 01, 2016     Accepted: December 12, 2016     Published: December 21, 2016


Papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) accounts for 80–90% of all thyroid malignancies. The tall cell variant (TCV) is a rare aggressive histotype of PTC. We performed a meta-analysis to compare the clinicopathological characteristics and prognostic factors of TCV with those of classical papillary thyroid carcinoma (cPTC). A literature search was performed using the PubMed and EMBASE databases using Medical Subject Headings and keywords. Twenty studies that included 1871 patients with TCV and 75323 patients with cPTC were included in our meta-analysis. Odds ratios and confidence intervals were calculated for each study. Patients with TCV were associated with multifocality, higher TNM stage, extrathyroidal extension, vascular invasion, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis, BRAF mutation, disease-specific survival, and overall survival. We found that TCV cases were associated with more aggressive clinicopathological characteristics and poorer prognoses than cPTC cases were. Our results suggest that TCV is a high-risk PTC that warrants aggressive treatment and follow-up strategies.

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