Fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of the thyroid gland is an important tool for preoperative diagnosis; however, its benefit is limited for follicular lesions. Nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) are ribosomal gene regions that stain with silver (Ag) when they are active. These regions can be used to differentiate neoplastic and non-neoplastic lesions. We used a new AgNOR technique to investigate FNAB of cases diagnosed as follicular adenoma and carcinoma. Fourteen cases of follicular thyroid carcinoma (FTC) and 28 cases of thyroid follicular adenomas (FA) were stained using the silver NOR-associated protein (AgNOR) technique. One hundred nuclei per sample were examined, AgNORs were counted, and the total AgNOR area/nuclear area (TNORa/Na) ratio of each cell was calculated. We found that cases with FTC had significantly higher TNORa/Na than cases of FA. Also, cases with FTC had significantly higher AgNOR counts than cases with FA. AgNOR counting may help discriminate FTC and FA by routine cytopathology before surgery.