Fine-needle aspiration (FNA) of the thyroid is the sine qua non in the preoperative evaluation of thyroid nodules. Despite this, cytological examination of FNA cannot differentiate malignant from benign Hurthle cell neoplasms. We have previously shown that Hurthle cell carcinomas harbor more genetic alterations on chromosomal arms 1q and 2p than Hurthle cell adenomas, and that all Hurthle cell neoplasms have a significantly higher frequency of alterations on chromosomal arm 1p compared with normal thyroid. To determine if these genetic alterations could be detected in FNA samples, we examined DNA from FNAs that were available from eight Hurthle cell neoplasms. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of DNA demonstrated either direct correlation with alterations seen in the tumor samples or in some instances, additional chromosomal alterations. We conclude that PCR-based microsatellite DNA analysis of preoperative FNA samples from Hurthle cell neoplasms can potentially distinguish Hurthle cell carcinomas from adenomas and that with further validation and perfection, this technique may allow more optimal surgical management of patients with these lesions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism