A study of Galactin-3 on fine needle aspiration as a diagnostic marker differentiating benign from malignant thyroid neoplasm

Aliya Muzafar, Mulazim Hussain Bukhari, Ihtesham Uddin Qureshi


Background & Objective: Thyroid nodules are very common in our setup and their diagnosis on fine needle aspiration is not easy and is a taxing affair. It is a challenge to differentiate between follicular adenoma and follicular carcinoma without histology. Our objective was to investigate the role of Galectin-3 in fine needle aspirates of thyroid nodules as a prospective diagnostic marker and consequently its ability to differentiate benign from malignant neoplasms.

Methods: The research was conducted at the department of Pathology, King Edward Medical University, in association with other teaching institutions of Lahore from June 2012 to July 2014. Sixty cases of solitary thyroid nodules were included in the study. Haematoxylin and eosin staining of the fixed smears and Galectin-3 immunohistochemical staining of the sections prepared from the cell block was performed.

Results: There were 60 patients in our study with a mean age of 33.35 years. The Bethesda system for reporting thyroid cytopathology was used to classify the smears and only categories IV, V and VI were included. On histological examination of the resected nodules there were 38.3% (23/60) cases of follicular adenoma, 46.6% (28/60) were of papillary carcinoma and follicular carcinoma made up to 15% (9/60) of all cases. Galectin-3 was negative in 100% (23/23) cases of follicular adenomas. Out of 37 malignant cases 65% lesions showed positivity, while 35% showed negativity for this immunomarker. Considering the malignant lesions, 75% cases of papillary carcinomas showed a positive reaction while only 33% of follicular carcinomas were positive for the immunomarker. This showed that the positive expression was more common in papillary as compared to follicular carcinomas.

Conclusion: Galectin-3immunomarker is considerably expressed in malignant tumors, but it is not expressed in benign follicular lesions. 

doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.333.12251

How to cite this:Muzafar A, Bukhari MH, Qureshi IU. A study of Galactin-3 on fine needle aspiration as a diagnostic marker differentiating benign from malignant thyroid neoplasm. Pak J Med Sci. 2017;33(3):726-731.   doi: https://doi.org/10.12669/pjms.333.12251

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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