Galectin-3 immunostaining in thyroid neoplasms

Imunomarcação por galectina-3 em neoplasias de tireóide

Although fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) of the thyroid gland is the most important presurgical proceeding in defining the malignancy of a nodular lesion, it has limitations such as shared cytological morphology between malignant and benign lesions. Galectin-3, a b-galactoside-binding lectin is expressed mainly by malignant thyroid neoplasms. Fifty-seven specimens, including 14 papillary carcinomas, 22 follicular carcinomas and 21 follicular adenomas were tested for immunohistochemical staining against galectin-3. Normal thyroid adjacent to neoplastic tissue was also examined in 48 cases. All cases of papillary carcinoma were cytoplasmic stained, 18 cases of follicular carcinoma were cytoplasmic stained, and one case of follicular adenoma showed nuclear staining. No case of normal thyroid showed immunoreactivity. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were respective 88%, 98%, 96%, and 94%. Galectin-3 expression is a valuable evidence of malignancy in cases where cytomorphological features are not conclusive. This immunomediated method could increase diagnosis accuracy for FNAB, thus making surgery indication more precise.

Galectin-3; Thyroid; Papillary carcinoma; Follicular carcinoma; Follicular adenoma; Carcinoma papilar

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