OBJECTIVE: 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. STUDY DESIGN: 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. RESULTS: 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. CONCLUSIONS: 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.
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