Immunohistochemical expression of HBME-1, E-cadherin, and CD56 in the differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules

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Background and Objective. Distinction between benign and malignant thyroid tumors is essential for proper clinical management. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic potential of a set of 3 molecular markers in the differential diagnosis of thyroid tumors. Material and Methods. Immunohistochemistry for HBME-1, E-cadherin (E-CAD), and CD56 was carried out in 36 follicular adenomas, 77 colloid goiters, 36 papillary thyroid carcinomas, and 14 follicular carcinomas. Sixty-eight thyroid fine needle aspiration(FNA) cases confirmed by subsequent surgical resection specimens were selected. Immunocytochemistry for HBME-1, E-CAD, and CD56 was performed in these cases, including 25 papillary thyroid carcinomas, 1 follicular carcinoma, 22 follicular adenomas, and 20 colloid goiters. Results. PTC was characterized by a decreased expression of E-CAD and CD56 contrary to the surrounding benign thyroid tissues. There was no HBME-1 expression in benignthyroid tissues, but it was high in papillary thyroid carcinomas and weak in follicular adenomas. The expression of E-CAD and CD56 was significantly higher in follicular adenomas than in the surrounding thyroid tissues. Analyzing the FNA material, HBME-1 expression was documented in 96% of papillary thyroid carcinomas, but there was no expression in the benign lesions. E-CAD and CD56 expression was significantly weakened in papillary thyroid carcinomas, but enhanced in follicular adenomas. Conclusions. HBME-1 was found only in malignant lesions and can be considered the most sensitive, specific single marker in papillary thyroid carcinomas. CD56 and E-CAD can assist in the decision-making on thebenign and malignant nature of the nodule. Immunocytochemistry is of value as an ancillary test to enhance the diagnostic accuracy of thyroid FNA samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-514
Number of pages8
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • CD56
  • E-cadherin
  • HBME-1
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Thyroid nodules

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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