Orphan Annie eye nuclei
Orphan Annie and her faithful dog Sandy
A descriptive term for the nuclei characteristic of follicular variant of papillary carcinoma of thyroid, which are large, round-to-oval and cleared of chromatin. They have been fancifully likened to the vacuous eyes of Li’l Orphan Annie (top, Li’l Orphan
medium power H&E stained section of papillary carcinoma of the thyroid with Orphan Annie eye nuclei (optically clear nuclei)
Annie, bottom, histo-pathology).
Optical clearing (Orphan Annie eye nuclei) and vacuolisation of the nuclei are robust enough findings to be of use in establishing the diagnosis of papillary carcinoma of thyroid on frozen section. Li’l Orphan Annie is the heroine of same-named comic strip created by Harold Gray in 1924; all protagonists–including her faithful dog Sandy, who punctuates her diatribes with a sympathetic “Arf”, Daddy Warbucks, and his man-servant Punjab have the same empty eyes