Aims: To investigate the smooth muscle nature of the spindle stromal cells in the capsule of thyroid tumours and tumour-like lesions.
Methods: Immunostaining for high molecular weight caldesmon (HCD), a highly specific marker for smooth muscle differentiation, was performed in 70 primary thyroid tumours and tumour-like lesions (21 hyperplastic nodules, 29 follicular adenomas, five minimally invasive follicular carcinomas, six widely invasive follicular carcinomas, and nine encapsulated papillary carcinomas).
Results: HCD positive stromal cells (HCD+ cells) were detected in the capsule of 20 of the 21 hyperplastic nodules, and all of the 29 follicular adenomas and five minimally invasive follicular carcinomas, whereas HCD+ cells were seen in the capsule of only four of the six widely invasive follicular carcinomas and no HCD+ cells were seen in the capsule of the nine encapsulated papillary carcinomas examined.
Conclusions: The presence of HCD+ cells in the capsule is characteristic of thyroid follicular tumours and tumour-like lesions. The stromal cells in the capsule of thyroid follicular tumours and tumour-like lesions are different from those of encapsulated papillary carcinoma.
- high molecular weight caldesmon
- smooth muscle cell
- follicular tumour and tumour-like lesion
- ASMA, α smooth muscle actin
- HCD, high molecular weight caldesmon
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