Clonal analysis of a solitary follicular nodule of the thyroid with the polymerase chain reaction method

Dong Hae Chung, Gyeong Hoon Kang, Woo Ho Kim, Jae Y. Ro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Solitary follicular nodules of the thyroid occasionally create a diagnostic problem, especially in the differential diagnosis between adenoma and nodular hyperplasia. To obtain confident histologic parameters of clonal lesions, we analyzed DNA samples prepared from paraffin-embedded archival tissue from 20 solitary follicular nodules of the thyroid for clonality with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. On the base of X chromosome inactivation mosaicism, we tested restriction fragment-length polymorphism of the phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) gene and a highly polymorphic short tandem repeat of the human androgen receptor (HUMARA) gene. Of 18 informative cases, 10 were monoclonal, 7 were polyclonal, and 1 showed microsatellite instability. All of the five completely encapsulated nodules were monoclonal. Four of the five unencapsulated nodules showed polyclonality. Of the seven partially encapsulated nodules, four were monoclonal, and the others were polyclonal. The former showed 50% or more of encapsulation degree, whereas the latter showed less than 50%. The capsule tended to be thicker in monoclonal nodules (mean, 0.33 mm) than in polyclonal nodules (mean, 0.13 mm). Other histologic features of the nodules and surrounding parenchymal changes had no significance with respect to predicting clonality. This study suggests that the degree of encapsulation and capsular thickness are morphologically important for predicting the clonality of the thyroid nodule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-271
Number of pages7
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1999


  • Clonality
  • Follicular proliferative lesion
  • PGK
  • Thyroid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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