• papillary carcinoma;
  • follicular adenoma;
  • goiter;
  • immunocytochemical reactivity


Overlapping morphologic patterns that may be observed in goiter, follicular adenoma, and papillary carcinoma can limit the cytologic evaluation of the thyroid gland. In an attempt to develop a useful adjunctive test, the immunocytochemical reactivity of HBME-1, carcinoma antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9), and CD-15 (Leu-M1) was tested on 59 cell block preparations from fine-needle aspirations of the thyroid gland. HBME-1 monoclonal antibody was reactive in all 21 papillary carcinomas, in 4 of 18 adenomas, and in 5 of 20 goiters. CA 19-9 was identified in 13 of 21 carcinomas, 1 goiter, but none of the adenomas. CD-15 was present in 15 of 21 carcinomas, 1 goiter, and 1 adenoma. We conclude that HBME-1 is a sensitive marker of papillary thyroid carcinoma. CD-15 and CA 19-9 are less sensitive but more specific. This panel can be useful to help classify morphologically equivocal lesions. As with all immunocytochemical testing, caution must be exercised in the interpretation of results, and correlation made with morphologic and clinical data. Diagn. Cytopathol. 1998;18:93–97. © 1998 Wiley-Liss, Inc.