Role of ultrasonographic features and quantified BRAFV600E mutation in lymph node metastasis in Chinese patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma.


Departments of Ultrasound, Chinese People's Liberation Army General Hospital, Beijing, People's Republic of China. [Email]


The association between cervical lymph node metastasis (LNM) and ultrasonographic features as well as BRAFV600E mutations in patients with papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) remained controversial. This study investigated the association between LNM and ultrasonographic features as well as BRAFV600E mutation in Chinese patients with PTC. A total of 280 patients with PTC in China were included in this study. 108 had cervical lymph node metastasis, while 172 had not. Younger age (<45years) and several ultrasonographic features were significantly associated with cervical LNM (Ps < 0.05). The BRAFV600E mutation was detected in 81.0% of patients with PTC (226/280). The status of BRAFV600E mutation was not associated with cervical LNM. However, Ct values by PCR and intensity of reactions by immunohistochemistry (IHC) for BRAFV600E expression had shown significant difference between group with and without LNM. Furthermore, an increased proportion of LNM was also found with the incremental intensity of IHC for BRAFV600E expression from weak to strong reaction after adjusted potential confounders. Further studies are required to verify this association and explore the intrinsic mechanism.