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Molecular Testing of Thyroid Indeterminate Nodules for Clinical Management Decision
Int J Thyroidol 2019;12(1):9-14
Published online May 30, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Thyroid Association.

Hyeung Kyoo Kim and Euy Young Soh

Department of Surgery, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
Correspondence to: Euy Young Soh, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Ajou University School of Medicine, 164 Worldcup-ro, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon 16499, Korea
Tel: 82-31-219-5201, Fax: 82-31-219-5755, E-mail:
This is a review article for 11th Bumsan Academic Awards.
Received January 31, 2019; Revised April 13, 2019; Accepted April 26, 2019.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Thyroid nodules are the most common endocrine tumor. Ultrasonography and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) are currently accurate diagnostic tools for evaluating thyroid nodules. However, 10-30% of FNA specimens are cytologically indeterminate. Making an accurate diagnosis between benign and malignant nodules is important so that patients with malignant nodule receive proper treatment and patients with benign nodule can avoid unnecessary treatment. Several genetic changes such as point mutations of the BRAF or RAS and rearrangements of the RET/PTC1, RET/PTC3, PAX8/PPARY are used to adjust to indeterminate FNA. Such a mutational analysis has an excellent positive predictive value (PPV), but there is a weakness in the low negative predictive value (NPV). Gene-expression classifier (GEC) has been found helpful in identify nodules that are benign rather than malignant. GEC has an excellent NPV, but there is a weakness of low PPV. Multiplatform mutational and miRNA test (MPT) and next-generation sequencing assay (NGS) are being studied to compensate for these weaknesses. Molecular tests appear to be a good solution for improving the accuracy of indeterminate FNA cytology specimens and support the clinical management decisions in patients with indeterminate cytologic nodules, but further prospective multicenter trials are required for validation of reported findings and need evaluation of cost-effectiveness. This paper will review recently available molecular diagnostic tools of thyroid nodule.
Keywords : Thyroid cancer, Indeterminate thyroid nodules, Molecular testing

November 2019, 12 (2)