Immunocytochemical evaluation of HBME-1, CA 19-9, and CD-15 (Leu-M1) in fine-needle aspirates of thyroid nodules

K. H. Van Hoeven*, Albert J. Kovatich, Markku Miettinen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Follicular adenoma
  • Goiter
  • Immunocytochemical reactivity
  • Papillary carcinoma


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