59 paraffin-embedded samples of sporadic MTCs, seen between 2014 and 2019 at the Institute of Pathology, University Hospital of Essen, were retrieved from the files. Initial diagnosis was made according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) criteria outlined in 2017 (15) by KWS and ST, experts of thyroid pathology. To assure the diagnosis, every case was at least stained immunohistochemically for calcitonin and chromogranin a. All primary tumors and all lymph node metastases had a positive staining result. The presence of desmoplasia was confirmed in H&E-staining. 44/59 cases showed stromal desmoplasia; concomitant lymph node metastases were found in 39 of these 44 cases, 5 cases had tumor-free lymph nodes at initial presentation. Fifteen MTC completely lacked stromal desmoplasia – all lymph nodes investigated in these 15 cases were tumor-free. Available clinicopathological data are shown in Table 1. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the University Hospital of Essen (20-9139-BO).

Clinicopathological data of MTC cohort.

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