Epithelial Membrane Antigen in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma and Multinodular Goiter; a Marker of Discrimination


Epithelial Membrane Antigen
Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma
Multinodular Goiter
Lymph Node Involvement
Capsular Invasion

How to Cite

Miratashi Yazdi , S. A., Heshmati , M. ., & Jalali Nadoushan , M. (2020). Epithelial Membrane Antigen in Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma and Multinodular Goiter; a Marker of Discrimination. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 22(7). Retrieved from https://ircmj.com/index.php/IRCMJ/article/view/686


Background: Papillary thyroid cancer is the most common type of thyroid malignancies. For a more accurate diagnosis, immuno- histochemistry has been used widely in recent years. Epithelial membrane antigen has been detected in several benign and malig- nant lesions, and its use as a marker of malignancy has been sought in some studies.

Objectives: The current study aimed to determine the presence and level of expression of epithelial membrane antigen in papillary thyroid carcinoma and multinodular goiter.

Methods: Eighty-five samples of papillary thyroid carcinoma and 40 cases of multinodular goiter were stained histochemically for epithelial membrane antigen. The intensity of staining was classified in a semi-quantitative manner (1+ to 4+). Demographic data of the index cases, history of metastasis, and lymph node involvement, if any, were collected as well.

Results: All PTCs and 87.5% of MNGs were positive for EMA. EMA was expressed more strongly in PTCs than in MNGs (P < 0.00). EMA reactivity was directly associated with lymph node involvement, capsular invasion, and size of the tumor (P = 0.008, P < 0.001, and P < 0.001, respectively). The intensity level of 2 or higher had high specificity for differentiating PTC from MNG.

Conclusions: Strong expression of EMA may be a good marker of malignancy in differentiating PTC from MNG. This marker may also be regarded as an index of invasive behavior of PTC.



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