Author(s): Saggiorato E, Cappia S, De Giuli P, Mussa A, Pancani G, , Saggiorato E, Cappia S, De Giuli P, Mussa A, Pancani G,
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Abstract Thyroid nodules are a common occurrence in the general population, but only a small number of them are eventually diagnosed as cancers. Fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) is the most accurate and cost-effective method for the presurgical management of thyroid nodules, but it misses the differential diagnosis between thyroid follicular adenomas and follicular carcinomas. Among them, minimally invasive follicular carcinoma (MIC), also defined as encapsulated tumor, only differs from follicular adenoma for the exhibition of minimal, but entire thickness, infiltration of the capsule and/or vascular invasion. This feature cannot be assessed in FNAB and can occasionally be hard to recognize in surgical specimens. As reported in several studies, galectin-3 is a reliable marker of thyroid malignancy, but no data are available on MICs. We analyzed the immunohistochemical expression of galectin-3 in 17 MICs and 52 follicular adenomas in both preoperative paraffin-embedded cytological human thyroid sediments (cell blocks) obtained by FNAB and in the corresponding surgical specimens. Among the MICs, all surgical samples showed galectin-3 immunoreactivity in the cytoplasm, whereas 16 of 17 corresponding FNAB cell blocks were positive. No evidence of cytoplasmic galectin-3 expression was observed in 48 of 52 adenomas in both cell blocks and histological tissues. These findings indicate that galectin-3 is a reliable presurgical molecular marker of MIC, improving the accuracy of conventional FNAB. It also proves to be useful in the histopathological assessment of resected tumors having suspected malignant features.
This article was published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Thyroid Disorders & Therapy