• Role of galectin-3 immunodetection in the cytological diagnosis of thyroid cystic papillary carcinoma.

Role of galectin-3 immunodetection in the cytological diagnosis of thyroid cystic papillary carcinoma.

European journal of endocrinology (2002-10-09)
Mauro Papotti, Marco Volante, Enrico Saggiorato, Desiree Deandreis, Andrea Veltri, Fabio Orlandi

Cystic thyroid lesions can harbour an occult papillary carcinoma, which fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy may fail to detect. Recently, new markers such as galectin-3 lectin have been proposed to distinguish benign from malignant thyroid lesions of follicular origin. The aim of this study was to assess the role of galectin-3 immunodetection in a series of FNA cytological samples of benign and malignant thyroid cystic nodules. We retrospectively analysed galectin-3 expression by immunoperoxidase staining on 32 cytological paraffin-embedded samples of cystic papillary carcinoma and on 12 samples of benign cysts, both obtained by FNA biopsy. Specificity, sensitivity, positive/negative predictive values, and accuracy of standard cytological examination and galectin-3 immunodetection were assessed. Among cystic papillary carcinomas, 29 of 32 samples were galectin-3 positive, whereas standard FNA cytology made a correct diagnosis in only 25 of 32 samples. All the benign cysts were negative for galectin-3. In comparing the sensitivity and specificity of the two methods, it appeared that both had a 100% specificity, whereas the sensitivity of cytological examination alone was 75% versus 89.3% obtained by galectin-3 immunohistochemistry. Galectin-3 immunostaining represents a valid pre-operative adjunct to pick up malignant cells in those cases where a very poor number of epithelial cells may lead to a cytological misdiagnosis. Therefore, we suggest that in poorly cellular FNA biopsies of simple or complex thyroid cysts, galectin-3 expression by epithelial cells is consistent with a cystic carcinoma and supports surgical treatment indication.

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Galectin-3 (9C4) Mouse Monoclonal Antibody