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Galectin-3 expression in thyroid tumors

Mira Siderova, Kiril Hristozov, Ivan Krasnaliev, Radoslav Radev, Rumen Nenkov


Aim. To evaluate the expression of Galectin-3 in benign and malignant thyroid nodules and to assess its diagnostic value.

Methods. Immunohistochemical analysis of Galectin-3 expression was performed on 64 surgically removed thyroid nodules, including 38 carcinomas (13 papillary, 2 tall cell variants, 4 lymph node metastases from papillary carcinoma,6 follicular variants of papillary carcinoma (FVPTC), 4 anaplastic, 5 follicular and 4 Hürthle cell carcinomas), as well as 26 benign lesions (10 follicular adenomas, 5 Hürthle cell adenomas, 11 nodular goiters with surrounding normal thyroid tissue).

Results. We found strong and diffuse Galectin-3 expression in all malignant lesions except for one case of FVPTC and one follicular carcinoma. Normal thyrocytes and the majority of the benign lesions were negative for Galectin-3. This molecular marker was expressed in the cytoplasm as well as in the nuclei of follicular cells. Statistical analysis determined sensitivity 94.7%, specificity 69.2%, PPV 81.8%, NPV 90% and accuracy 83% of Galectin-3.

Conclusion. Our findings suggest that immunohistochemical expression of Galectin-3 might contribute to differential diagnosis between malignant and benign thyroid nodules, including those with follicular architecture.


Galectin-3; immunohistochemistry; thyroid carcinoma; thyroid nodules

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About The Authors

Mira Siderova
Medical University of Varna University Hospital "St. Marina", Varna Clinic of Endocrinology

Kiril Hristozov
Medical University of Varna University Hospital "St. Marina", Varna Clinic of Endocrinology

Ivan Krasnaliev
Medical University of Varna University Hospital "St. Marina", Varna Department of Pathology

Radoslav Radev
Medical University of Varna University Hospital "St. Marina", Varna Department of Surgery

Rumen Nenkov
Medical University of Varna University Hospital "St. Marina", Varna Department of Surgery

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