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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1756;

Galectin-3 Performance in Histologic and Cytologic Assessment of Thyroid Nodules: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Department of Nuclear Medicine and Thyroid Centre, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Via Ospedale, 6500 Bellinzona, Switzerland
Department of Medico-surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, 04100 Latina, Italy
Department of Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 00161 Rome, Italy
Pathology Unit, University Hospital Campus Bio Medico, 00128 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 July 2017 / Revised: 8 August 2017 / Accepted: 10 August 2017 / Published: 11 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Galectins in Cancer and Translational Medicine)
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The literature on Galectin-3 (Gal-3) was systematically reviewed to achieve more robust information on its histologic reliability in identifying thyroid cancers and on the concordance between Gal-3 test in histologic and cytologic samples. A computer search of the PubMed and Scopus databases was conducted by combinations of the terms thyroid and Gal-3. Initially, 545 articles were found and, after their critical review, 52 original papers were finally included. They reported 8172 nodules with histologic evaluation of Gal-3, of which 358 with also preoperative FNAC Gal-3 assessment. At histology, Gal-3 sensitivity was 87% (95% confidence intervals [CI] from 86% to 88%), and specificity 87% (95% CI from 86% to 88%); in both cases, we found heterogeneity (I2 85% and 93%, respectively) and significant publication bias (p < 0.001). The pooled rate of positive Gal-3 at fine needle aspiration (FNAC) among cancers with histologically proven Gal-3 positivity was 94% (95% CI from 89% to 97%), with neither heterogeneity (I2 14.5%) nor bias (p = 0.086). These data show high reliability of Gal-3 for thyroid cancer at histology, while its sensitivity on FNAC samples is lower. The limits of cytologic preparations and interpretation of Gal-3 results have to be solved. View Full-Text
Keywords: thyroid cancer; meta-analysis; cytology; Galectin-3; fine needle aspiration (FNAC) thyroid cancer; meta-analysis; cytology; Galectin-3; fine needle aspiration (FNAC)

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Trimboli, P.; Virili, C.; Romanelli, F.; Crescenzi, A.; Giovanella, L. Galectin-3 Performance in Histologic and Cytologic Assessment of Thyroid Nodules: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 1756.

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