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Endocr Pathol. 2010 Jun;21(2):80-9. doi: 10.1007/s12022-010-9114-y.

Universal markers of thyroid malignancies: galectin-3, HBME-1, and cytokeratin-19.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Zonguldak Karaelmas University Faculty of Medicine, 67600, Kozlu, Zonguldak, Turkey.


Difficulties in diagnosis of thyroid lesions, even with histologic analysis, are well known. This study has been carried on to evaluate the role of immunohistochemical markers including galectin-3, Hector Battifora mesothelial cell-1 (HBME-1), and cytokeratin-19 in the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of benign and malignant thyroid lesions. The expressions of galectin-3, HBME-1, and cytokeratin-19 were tested in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from 458 surgically resected thyroid lesions including non-neoplastic and neoplastic lesions. Immunostaining with standard avidin-biotin complex technique was performed by using monoclonal antibodies. In malignant neoplastic thyroid lesions, galectin-3, HBME-1, and cytokeratin-19 were diffusely expressed in general. Diffuse expression rates of these three markers were 72.3% (47/65), 70.7% (46/65), and 76.9% (50/65), respectively. The use of galectin-3, HBME-1, and cytokeratin-19 may provide significant contributions in the differential diagnosis of malignant thyroid tumors. Although focal galectin-3, HBME-1, and cytokeratin-19 expression may be encountered in benign lesions, diffuse positive reactions for these three markers are characteristic of malignant lesions. It has concluded that cytokeratin-19 alone and its combinations with other markers were more sensitive in accurate diagnosis of papillary carcinoma than the other combinations; meanwhile, there were similar results for follicular carcinomas with HBME-1 alone and its combinations.

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