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Print version ISSN 1807-5932On-line version ISSN 1980-5322


STABENOW, Elaine et al. Angiogenesis as an indicator of metastatic potential in papillary thyroid carcinoma. Clinics [online]. 2005, vol.60, n.3, pp.233-240. ISSN 1980-5322.

Angiogenesis is new blood vessel formation, a process that can lead to tumor development. Microvessel count has been correlated to metastasis in some neoplasias. PURPOSE: To determine if measurement of microvessel density is useful in predicting metastasis to the cervical lymph node and prognosis in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed in 30 patients that had undergone total thyroidectomy. They were divided in 2 groups of 15 patients - with and without metastatic disease. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect expression of CD34 in archival paraffin-embedded papillary thyroid tumors, and microvessel density was calculated based on it. Association between microvessel density and the presence of metastasis, according to histological subtype, disease recurrence, and AMES prognostic index groups was determined through statistical analysis. RESULTS: The median microvessel density for the patient group without metastasis (200.0 microvessels/mm2) was apparently, but not significantly, less than that observed among metastatic disease patients (254.4 microvessels/mm2) (P = .20). When papillary carcinoma subtypes were analyzed, this difference became significant (P =.02). The follicular variant exhibited a greater microvessel density than the other subtypes, independent of metastasis presence. There was an apparent, but not significant, tendency for a larger median microvessel density in the group of patients that presented recurrence (294.4 microvessels/mm2 vs 249.6 microvessels/mm2, P = .11). There was no relationship between risk level and microvessel density: in the low- and high-risk groups, the median MVD was 304.0 microvessels/mm2 and 229.6 microvessels/mm2, respectively (P = .27). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that angiogenesis is more intense among metastatic tumors in the classic and the tall cell variants, indicating that microvessel count can be an indicator of the potential for metastasis in these subtypes of papillary thyroid carcinoma. Patients that developed recurrent disease had a tendency to exhibit higher angiogenesis; however, there was no association between microvessel density and the AMES prognostic index.

Keywords : Papillary thyroid carcinoma; Angiogenesis; CD34; Node metastasis; Prognosis.

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