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.

OBJECTIVE:

– 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.

CONCLUSIONS:

– 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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