Telomerase activity in thyroid fine needle aspirates

Josefina Mora, Enrique Lerma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To study the utility of telomerase activity (TA) detection in thyroid fine needle aspirates (FNAs). STUDY DESIGN: One hundred two thyroid nodules were studied: 70 in FNA samples and 32 in frozen tumors. From among FNA samples, there were 57 nodules of the goiter, 1 adenoma, 7 papillary carcinomas, 1 medullary carcinoma and 1 lymphoma. Three cases of thyroiditis were excluded. The 32 frozen tissue tumors consisted of 5 follicular adenomas, 4 follicular carcinomas and 23 papillary carcinomas. TA was analyzed by Telomerase PCR ELISA® (Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.). RESULTS: TA was negative in the 57 nonneoplastic nodules and 6 follicular adenomas and positive in 3 of 4 follicular carcinomas and 10 of 30 papillary carcinomas. TA sensitivity was 41.4% and specificity 100%. Sensitivity for malignancy was higher (85.7%) in FNAs than in TA. CONCLUSION: TA seems highly specific for neoplasms of the thyroid. Further studies are needed to confirm whether TA detection could contribute to identifying neoplasms when FNAs are inconclusive for malignancy and in cases of scanty material.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-824
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Aspiration biopsy
  • Telomerase
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Thyroid neoplasms


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