Clinicopathologic features of thyroid nodules with PTEN mutations on preoperative testing

in Endocrine-Related Cancer
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  • 1 Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Montefiore Hospital, N715, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • | 2 Division of Molecular Genomic Pathology, Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  • | 3 Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to J A Quaytman or E Morariu: quaytmanja@upmc.edu or morariuem@upmc.edu
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The incidence of cancer in thyroid nodules carrying germline or somatic phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) mutations is not well-defined. This study characterizes the clinical and histopathologic features of thyroid nodules with preoperatively detected PTEN mutations and their impact on management. Thyroid nodules with PTEN mutations on molecular testing of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens from November 2017 to July 2020 at our institution were included. Demographic and clinicopathologic data were obtained through retrospective chart review. We identified 49 PTEN mutation-positive nodules from 48 patients. Surveillance was pursued for 28 patients and surgery for 20 patients. There were 14 follicular adenomas (FA), 4 oncocytic adenomas, 1 oncocytic hyperplastic nodule, and 1 encapsulated follicular variant papillary thyroid carcinoma (EFVPTC). The EFVPTC had two somatic PTEN mutations, an NRAS mutation, and was a low-risk tumor with capsular but no angiolymphatic invasion. Four patients, all with multiple nodules, had PTEN hamartoma syndrome (PHTS) with germline mutations or a clinical diagnosis of Cowden syndrome (CS); two had surgery finding FAs, and one previously had follicular carcinoma removed. Among surveillance patients, 1/20 had a significant increase in the size of the thyroid nodule and underwent repeat FNA, and no thyroid malignancy was found with a mean of 1.77 years of follow-up (range 1.00–2.78). Thyroid nodules with isolated somatic PTEN mutations are primarily benign and unlikely to grow at a high rate, at least on short-term follow-up. About 8% of patients with PTEN mutations may have PHTS or CS, which should be suspected in younger patients with multiple thyroid nodules.

 

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