Utility of the BRAF p.V600E immunoperoxidase stain in FNA direct smears and cell block preparations from patients with thyroid carcinoma.

Published on Jun 1, 2018in Cancer Cytopathology5.284
· DOI :10.1002/CNCY.21992
Amber L. Smith1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Texas at Austin),
Michelle D. Williams58
Estimated H-index: 58
(University of Texas at Austin)
+ 4 AuthorsSinchita Roy-Chowdhuri30
Estimated H-index: 30
(University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center)
BACKGROUND: The identification of BRAF mutations in thyroid cancer has prognostic and therapeutic implications. Although the gold standard for identifying BRAF mutations is molecular testing, the ability to perform BRAF p.V600E immunostaining on fine-needle aspiration (FNA) samples can facilitate the rapid triaging of patients to treatment options. METHODS: A total of 50 thyroid carcinoma FNA samples, including papillary (29 samples), poorly differentiated (10 samples), anaplastic (9 samples), and Hurthle cell (2 samples) carcinomas, with a known BRAF p.V600E mutation status were selected for the current study. Immunostaining was performed on smears and cell block sections using an anti-BRAF p.V600E antibody (clone VE1). The results were compared with the known mutation status obtained by molecular testing and/or immunostaining of surgical pathology material from the same patient. RESULTS: Of the total of 50 cases, 26 cases had smears available for the evaluation of BRAF p.V600E immunostaining; positive immunostaining was noted in 16 samples and negative immunostaining was noted in 4 samples, whereas 6 cases were equivocal. Of the 34 cases for which cell blocks were available for evaluation, BRAF p.V600E immunostaining was positive in 17 cases, negative in 16 cases, and equivocal in 1 case. The overall sensitivity and specificity of BRAF p.V600E immunostaining on the cell block preparation was 94.4% and 100%, respectively, whereas for the smears it was 80% and 63.6%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: BRAF p.V600E immunostaining can be performed reliably on thyroid FNA cell block preparations. However, false-positive results on direct smears limit their utility and therefore need to be interpreted with caution. Cancer Cytopathol 2018;126:406-13. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
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