Molecular Testing of Thyroid Nodules: A Review of Current Available Tests for Fine-Needle Aspiration Specimens.

Context .- Fine-needle aspiration of thyroid nodules is a reliable diagnostic method to determine the nature of thyroid nodules. Nonetheless, indeterminate cytology diagnoses remain a diagnostic challenge. The development of multiplex molecular techniques and the identification of genetic alterations associated with different follicular cell-derived cancers in the thyroid have led to the introduction of several commercially available tests.


– To summarize the most common commercially available molecular testing in thyroid cancer, focusing on the technical features and test performance validation. Data Sources .- Peer-reviewed original articles, review articles, and published conference abstracts were reviewed to analyze the advantages and limitations of the most common tests used in the evaluation of thyroid needle aspirations.


– The most common tests available include the Afirma Gene Expression Classifier, ThyGenX, and ThyroSeq. The excellent negative predictive value (NPV) of the Afirma test allows it to be used as a “rule out” test. ThyGenX analyzes a panel of DNA mutations and RNA translocation fusion markers to assess the risk of malignancy with good NPV and positive predictive value. ThyroSeq is a next-generation sequencing-based gene mutation and fusion test that has been reported to have the best NPV and positive predictive value combined, suggesting that it can be used as a “rule in” and “rule out” test. Molecular testing of cytology specimens from thyroid nodules has the potential to play a major role in the evaluation of indeterminate thyroid lesions.

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