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Acta Cytol. 2013;57(4):337-40. doi: 10.1159/000350618. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

BRAF test and cytological diagnosis with a single fine needle cytology sample.

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  • 1Cytopathology Service, Department of Clinical Pathology, ASL Caserta, Caserta, Italy.



Recently, fine needle cytology (FNC) of the thyroid has been combined with biomolecular analysis. In particular, there has been detailed study of the V600E-BRAF mutation. The aim of our study is to demonstrate that with a single thyroid sample it is possible to obtain enough cellular material for both cytological diagnosis and a V600E-BRAF molecular test.


FNC was carried out under ultrasound guidance aided by an echographist and cytopathologist. We acquired one biopsy for each nodule with a 23-gauge needle without suction. The preparations were smeared by the pathologist onto one glass slide, air dried and stained with Diff-Quick. Cell adequacy was evaluated for each patient. The needle was washed by aspirating 2 ml of physiologic solution which was collected into a tube. The material was collected for molecular testing.


The following cytological diagnoses were made: not neoplastic, Tir2 (n = 227); indeterminate, Tir3 (n = 15); suspicious, Tir4 (n = 4), and malignancy, Tir5 (n = 12). The V600E-BRAF mutation was found in 0 of 227 Tir2 specimens, 2 of 15 (13.3%) Tir3 specimens, 2 of 4 (50%) Tir4 specimens and 9 of 12 (75%) Tir5 specimens.


Our data showed that, in a routine clinical setting, FNC specimens can be handled properly to provide both morphological and molecular information. In fact, our tests show that with a single specimen it is possible to set up a slide for the cytological diagnosis and to obtain enough residual cellular material for DNA extraction (>70 ng) and for the identification of the V600E-BRAF mutation.

Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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