Sustentacular cells occur frequently in the familial form of medullary thyroid carcinoma

Xavier Matias-Guiu, Pilar Machin, Cristina Pons, Elena Lagarda, Alberto De Leiva, Jaime Prat

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The presence and distribution of S-100-immunoreactive sustentacular cells were investigated by immunohistochemistry in 67 medullary thyroid carcinomas (MTCs). The familial or sporadic status of the tumours was assessed by clinical data and confirmed by the identification of RET germline mutations using the polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and restriction analysis. Sustentacular cells were detected in 19 tumours (28.3 per cent). They were found significantly more frequently in the familial (15/24, 62.5 per cent) than in the sporadic MTCs (4/43, 9.3 per cent). The results indicate that sustentacular cells are commonly found in familial MTC and their presence in any MTC may be regarded as an indirect indicator that the tumour might be of the familial type.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-423
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1998


  • Familial
  • Medulary thyroid carcinoma
  • S-100
  • Sustentacular cells


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