Hürthle cells are characterized as enlarged epithelial cells with abundant eosinophilic granular cytoplasm as a result of altered mitochondria. They generally stain pink and are prominently found in histological sections of thyroid glands affected with Hashimoto's. Their pink color is the result of an increased volume of mitochondria in the cell. The numerous mitochondria are abnormal and have significant deletions in their mitochondrial genomes.
A Hürthle cell adenoma is a type of thyroid benign tumor that, in rare cases, has the potential to become malignant and metastasize (Hürthle cell carcinoma). Hürthle cells are also found in Hashimoto's thyroiditis and toxic and nontoxic nodular goiter. Hürthle cells are hypothesized to be of follicular epithelial origin.
It is named for Karl Hürthle, who investigated thyroid secretory function, particularly in dogs. However, the Hurthle cell was first described in 1898 by Max Askanazy, who noted it in patients with Graves' disease.James Ewing first coined the term "Hurthle cell" in his 1919 oncology textbook in reference to the cell which Askanazy had first described.
^Hürthle, Karl (1894). "Beitrage zur Kenntnis des Sekretionsvorgangs in der Schilddruse". Archiv der Gesamt physiologie (Pflugers) 56: 10–44.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^Schwab, Manfred (2011). Encyclopedia of Cancer1. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 296. ISBN9783642164828.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)
^M. Askanazy. Pathologisch-anatomische Beiträge zur Kenntniss des morbus basedowii, insbesondere uber die dabei auftretende Muskelerkrankkung. Deutsches Archiv für klinische Medicin, Leipzig, 1898, 61:118-186.
^Kroeker, Teresa; Prisman, Eitan; Shah, Manish (2014). "Hurthle Cell Lesions- A Retrospective Review of Final Surgical Pathology". Thyroid Disorders and Therapy3 (2). doi:10.4172/2167-7948.1000155.|accessdate= requires |url= (help)