Detection of thyroglobulin, thyroid peroxidase, and RET/PTC1 mRNA transcripts in the peripheral blood of patients with thyroid disease.

Abstract

PURPOSE Detection of mRNA transcripts for thyroglobulin (TG), thyroid peroxidase (TPO) and RET/PTC1 in the peripheral blood of patients with thyroid disease. PATIENTS AND METHODS TG, TPO, and RET/PTC1 mRNA were analyzed in 52 peripheral-blood samples from 44 patients diagnosed with thyroid carcinoma (24 patients), adenoma (five patients), and nodular hyperplasia (15 patients) by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RESULTS TG and TPO were identified in 13 patients (54.2%) with thyroid carcinoma, which includes five of eight patients with no clinical evidence of disease at the time of blood collection. Four of 5 patients had cervical lymph node metastases and/or extrathyroid extension at the time of the initial surgery. RET/PTC1 mRNA was detected in the peripheral blood of only one patient with papillary thyroid carcinoma. This sample was also positive for TG and TPO. TG and TPO were detected in two patients (10%) with benign thyroid nodules. All positive samples from patients with benign thyroid lesions were collected before surgery, whereas all samples collected after surgery were negative. RET/PTC1 mRNA was not detected in any of the patients with benign thyroid nodules. RT-PCR positivity for TG and TPO mRNA was higher in patients with carcinoma than in patients with benign lesions (P = .002). CONCLUSION TG, TPO, and RET/PTC1 mRNA are detectable in the peripheral blood of patients with thyroid disease, which correlates with a diagnosis of carcinoma.

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