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Histopathology

Cytokeratin 19 and galectin-3 immunohistochemistry in the differential diagnosis of solitary thyroid nodules.


PMID 12207785

Abstract

The immunohistochemical expression of cytokeratin 19 (CK 19) and galectin-3 was evaluated in 69 thyroid lesions to assess their potential as markers in the diagnosis and classification of thyroid malignancy. The following were studied: 26 cases of papillary carcinoma, 12 of follicular carcinoma, 20 follicular adenomas, two medullary carcinomas, one anaplastic carcinoma and eight multinodular goitres. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded thyroid tissues were stained immunohistochemically for both CK 19 and galectin-3. CK 19 expression was found in all 26 papillary carcinomas, five of 12 follicular carcinomas, two of two medullary carcinomas and one case of anaplastic carcinoma. Only five of 20 follicular adenomas were positive for CK 19, and this was in a focal distribution. Two of eight multinodular goitres stained focally positive. Galectin-3 expression was found in 22 of 26 papillary carcinomas, 12 of 12 follicular carcinomas and one of two cases of medullary carcinoma. Only two of 20 follicular adenomas were positive. Three of eight multinodular goitres showed focal galectin-3 expression. Our findings suggest that the immunohistochemical localization of CK 19 and of galectin-3 is a useful adjunct to the histopathological diagnosis of a solitary thyroid lesion. The expression of CK 19 favours a diagnosis of papillary carcinoma in all its variant patterns. Galectin-3 may serve as a marker for the recognition of follicular carcinoma, particularly the minimally invasive form.

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