Interpretation of RET immunostaining in follicular lesions of the thyroid

Lisa A. Cerilli*, Stacey E. Mills, Craig A. Rumpel, Thomas H. Dudley, Christopher A. Moskaluk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We applied monoclonal antibodies against RET and cytokeratin 19 (CK19) to the following tumor sections: classic papillary carcinoma (PC), 16; Hürthle-type PC (HPC), 1; sclerosing PC with nodular fasciitis-like stroma (SPC), 1; PC, follicular variant (FVPC), 12; folliciilar adenoma (FA), 9; Hürthle cell adenoma (HA), 4; Hürthle cell carcinoma (HC), 3; and follicular carcinoma (FC), 7. CK19+ tumors included 16 PCs, 1 HPC, 1 SPC, 11 FVPCs, 7 FAs, 4 FCs, and 1 HC. RET+ tumors included 4 HAs, 3 HCs, 1 HPC, 12 PCs, 7 FVPCs, and 2 FAs. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) revealed a RET transcript in 6 Hürthle cell lesions. RET immunoreactivity is less sensitive and specific for PC than CK19. CK19 is useful for identifying PC, although only lesions with diffuse, intense staining should be considered positive. The detection of RET protein by immunohistochemical analysis was corroborated by the presence of the RET transcript by RT-PCR. Further study is warranted to determine whether this represents activation by gene fusion or some other mechanism in this subset of thyroid neoplasms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-193
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • CK19
  • Cytokeratin 19
  • Follicular
  • Hürthle
  • Papillary
  • RET
  • Thyroid


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