H&E stain demonstrating Orphan Annie nuclei, characteristic of papillary thyroid cancer.

Orphan Annie nuclei can be seen usually with the heterochromatin pushed to the edge and the central areas of the nuclei optically clear. These nuclei have marginated chromatin and optically clear centers.


It’s a fixation artifact.


Annie was a character in a comic strip where no one had irides or pupils and so the cells look like her eyes, hence named Orphan Annie nuclei.