The utility of thyroglobulin measurement in lymph node biopsy washouts in the detection of local recurrence in differentiated thyroid cancer. (#365)
Background: The sensitivity of detecting differentiated thyroid cancer (DTC) in lymph node fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) cytology is increased by measuring thyroglobulin in normal saline needle washouts. However, recent studies are limited, and report different rates of sensitivity and specificity, as well as interference from thyroglobulin antibodies leading to false negative results. Study Design & Methods: The aim of this study was to assess the utility of thyroglobulin washouts in the diagnosis of DTC in patients referred to a single pathology service used by our institution. The pathology service was audited retrospectively and data was collected for the past 18 months. Demographic and clinical details were obtained through hospital medical records, as well as correspondence from treating physicians and surgeons. Thyroglobulin findings were compared with histology as the gold standard when patients proceeded to surgery, as well as with FNAB cytology where available. The Immulite assay was used for most samples, with the Abbott Architect assay used for some of the thyroglobulin antibody analyses after October 2012. Results: The results of 52 thyroglobulin washout samples from 44 patients were obtained and analysed. Patients with positive and negative thyroglobulin washouts were compared by stage of initial disease and histological subtype, previous known recurrence, previous I131 therapy, and lymph node features on ultrasound. Data presented will be the rates of detectable thyroglobulin in the washout, the presence of any washout thyroglobulin antibodies, as well as serum thyroglobulin and serum thyroglobulin antibodies. In keeping with existing literature, our preliminary results demonstrate that thyroglobulin washout analyses improve sensitivity compared with cytology alone, and both washout and serum anti-thyroglobulin antibodies can result in false negative results. Conclusion: This study is ongoing; however our preliminary results support the utility of routinely measuring thyroglobulin in lymph node washouts to add sensitivity to cytology alone.