Evaluation of ACR TI-RADS cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules and molecular profiles: a single-institutional experience
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:The American College of Radiology (ACR) Thyroid Imaging Reporting and Data Systems (TI-RADS) was developed to standardize thyroid ultrasound reports and predict the likelihood of malignancy. In our study, we aimed to correlate indeterminate thyroid fine needle aspiration cytology cases with preceding ultrasound (US) ACR TI-RADS scores and concurrent molecular testing results to examine how well the use of the ACR TI-RADS in our institution predicted which patients with indeterminate cytology might harbor molecular alterations. MATERIALS AND METHODS/METHODS:We performed a retrospective review of thyroid nodules. Patients with US reports that included TI-RADS scores, fine needle aspiration specimens with indeterminate cytology (Bethesda class III-V), and molecular testing results were included. RESULTS:A total of 46 indeterminate cytology cases had had preceding US reports with TI-RADS scores and molecular testing (Bethesda class III, n = 37; Bethesda class IV, n = 6; Bethesda class V, n = 3). Most of the indeterminate cases had had a TI-RADS score of TR4 (31 of 46; 67.39%) or TR5 (9 of 46; 19.57%). RAS mutations were the most common alteration (n = 12). Of the 46 cases, 22 (47.85%) showed no alterations. Ten cases proceeded to surgery, of which seven displayed malignancies. CONCLUSIONS:Molecular testing in cytologically indeterminate thyroid nodules provided valuable information for TR4 and TR5 lesions; however, the TR2 and TR3 lesions often had no molecular alterations. These findings highlight the potential value of including US imaging features when assessing the significance of indeterminate cytology findings.
Diagnostic Challenges in the Cytology of Thymic Epithelial Neoplasms
Thymic epithelial neoplasms are rare tumors that constitute the majority of anterior mediastinal masses. They are classified as thymomas, thymic carcinomas, and thymic neuroendocrine neoplasms. Biopsy diagnosis is not common, and most tumors are surgically resected. Biopsy, including cytology, is indicated when a non-surgical entity is suspected or in cases of locally advanced disease. Smears of thymomas consist of round or spindle epithelial cells admixed with varying amounts of lymphocytes depending on the type of thymoma. Smears of thymic carcinoma and thymic neuroendocrine neoplasms are often indistinguishable from corresponding tumor types from other organs. Accurate cytological diagnosis can be difficult due to the histological diversity of thymomas, as well as the morphological features that certain thymic tumors share with similar tumors from other organs. However, fine needle aspiration (FNA) of anterior mediastinal masses can provide clinically actionable information and can be used to determine whether lesions require surgical, systemic, or local noninvasive treatments. Ancillary studies, namely, immunocytochemical stains, flow cytometry, and radiology, are important tools in the evaluation of thymic aspirates. This review discusses the utility and limitations of thymic FNAs and illustrates the diagnostic features and pitfalls of these specimens.
Assessment of the feasibility of frozen sections for the detection of spread through air spaces (STAS) in pulmonary adenocarcinoma
Spread through air spaces (STAS) is reportedly associated with worse prognosis in sublobar resections of lung adenocarcinoma. Recently, it was proposed that STAS detected on frozen sections can be an indication for lobectomy instead of sublobar resection. We undertook this study to evaluate the reliability of STAS assessment on frozen sections compared to permanent sections, as well as the associations among STAS, tumor grade, and recurrence-free survival (RFS) after sublobar resection. A total of 163 stage I lung adenocarcinoma resections with frozen sections were identified retrospectively. For each case, and for frozen and permanent sections separately, the presence or absence of STAS, as well as the tumor grade, were recorded. Compared to permanent sections, STAS detection on frozen sections had low sensitivity (55%), low positive predictive value (48%), and fair agreement (Kâ€‰=â€‰0.34), whereas there was higher specificity (80%) and negative predictive value (85%). Accuracy was 74%. Tumor grade assessment on frozen sections showed higher sensitivity (77%), positive predictive value (90%), agreement (Kâ€‰=â€‰0.72), specificity (94%), and accuracy (87%), and the same negative predictive value (85%). High-grade histology on frozen sections was associated with shorter RFS (pâ€‰=â€‰0.02), whereas STAS on frozen sections was not (pâ€‰=â€‰0.47). Our results suggest that the intraoperative detection of STAS has low sensitivity and positive predictive value. False-positive results may lead to overtreatment of patients with lung cancer. The determination of tumor grade on frozen sections offers better sensitivity and specificity, plus it is associated with RFS, whereas STAS on frozen sections is not. Further study is needed to explore the utility of assessing tumor grade on frozen sections.
Pulmonary Pathology of End-Stage COVID-19 Disease in Explanted Lungs and Outcomes After Lung Transplantation
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may develop end-stage lung disease requiring lung transplantation. We report the clinical course, pulmonary pathology with radiographic correlation, and outcomes after lung transplantation in three patients who developed chronic respiratory failure due to postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection. METHODS:A retrospective histologic evaluation of explanted lungs due to coronavirus disease 2019 was performed. RESULTS:None of the patients had known prior pulmonary disease. The major pathologic findings in the lung explants were proliferative and fibrotic phases of diffuse alveolar damage, interstitial capillary neoangiogenesis, and mononuclear inflammation, specifically macrophages, with varying numbers of T and B lymphocytes. The fibrosis varied from early collagen deposition to more pronounced interstitial collagen deposition; however, pulmonary remodeling with honeycomb change was not present. Other findings included peribronchiolar metaplasia, microvascular thrombosis, recanalized thrombi in muscular arteries, and pleural adhesions. No patients had either recurrence of SARS-CoV-2 infection or allograft rejection following transplant at this time. CONCLUSIONS:The major pathologic findings in the lung explants of patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection suggest ongoing fibrosis, prominent macrophage infiltration, neoangiogenesis, and microvascular thrombosis. Characterization of pathologic findings could help develop novel management strategies.
The Common Thread: A Case of Synchronous Lung Cancers and a Germline CHEK2 Mutation [Case Report]
Patients with one form of cancer are at increased risk for another, and this is true for lung cancer, where synchronous primary lung cancers are an increasing multifaceted challenge.1,2 Here, we present the case of a middle age woman who was found to have bilateral lung masses. Biopsy and subsequent testing revealed unique synchronous lung adenocarcinomas, each with unique genetic signatures. Despite having two unique tumors, she was found to have CHEK2 mutations in both tumors and in germline testing. Because of this extensive testing that showed unique tumors, she was ultimately diagnosed with stage IIIb and IA2 lung cancers, and this changed her treatment options. Consideration of unique primary tumors leads to thorough diagnostics, which changed this patient's diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. We hope this case raises awareness for multiple primary tumors, as well as CHEK2 as an important oncogene.
Molecular cytology of the respiratory tract and pleura
There is growing evidence that molecular testing is feasible on all types of cytological preparation, which is fortunate as more diagnostic markers and biomarkers for targeted therapies are discovered for use in pulmonary and pleural malignancies. In this article we will discuss the pre-analytic, analytic, and post-analytic (interpretive) considerations for successful implementation of molecular tests for diagnostic and predictive markers in respiratory and pleural cytology. The vast majority of laboratories are familiar with, and have validated their molecular protocols for, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded surgical specimens, which are not directly applicable to cytology specimens. Thus, rigorous validation must be performed for each type of fixative and cytology preparation before it is implemented in the clinical setting.
Comparison of solid tissue sequencing and liquid biopsy accuracy in identification of clinically relevant gene mutations and rearrangements in lung adenocarcinomas
Screening for therapeutic targets is standard of care in the management of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. However, most molecular assays utilize tumor tissue, which may not always be available. "Liquid biopsies" are plasma-based next generation sequencing (NGS) assays that use circulating tumor DNA to identify relevant targets. To compare the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of a plasma-based NGS assay to solid-tumor-based NGS we retrospectively analyzed sequencing results of 100 sequential patients with lung adenocarcinoma at our institution who had received concurrent testing with both a solid-tissue-based NGS assay and a commercially available plasma-based NGS assay. Patients represented both new diagnoses (79%) and disease progression on treatment (21%); the majority (83%) had stage IV disease. Tissue-NGS identified 74 clinically relevant mutations, including 52 therapeutic targets, a sensitivity of 94.8%, while plasma-NGS identified 41 clinically relevant mutations, a sensitivity of 52.6% (pâ€‰<â€‰0.001). Tissue-NGS showed significantly higher sensitivity and accuracy across multiple patient subgroups, both in newly diagnosed and treated patients, as well as in metastatic and nonmetastatic disease. Discrepant cases involved hotspot mutations and actionable fusions including those in EGFR, ALK, and NTRK1. In summary, tissue-NGS detects significantly more clinically relevant alterations and therapeutic targets compared to plasma-NGS, suggesting that tissue-NGS should be the preferred method for molecular testing of lung adenocarcinoma when tissue is available. Plasma-NGS can still play an important role when tissue testing is not possible. However, given its low sensitivity, a negative result should be confirmed with a tissue-based assay.
p16 immunostaining in fine-needle aspirations of the head and neck: determining the optimal positivity threshold in HPV-related squamous cell cancer
INTRODUCTION/BACKGROUND:There is no consensus for interpretation of p16 immunohistochemistry (IHC) in cytology preparations. Our study aims to assess p16 IHC staining in formalin-fixed cytology cell blocks (CBs) from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens in comparison with surgical pathology p16 staining and to determine the reproducibility of p16 IHC scoring in CBs. METHODS:) was calculated to assess inter-rater reliability. RESULTS:= 0.79 (95% CI: 0.61-0.98). CONCLUSION/CONCLUSIONS:p16 IHC performed on cytology CBs can serve as a surrogate marker for the detection of HPV with high sensitivity and specificity levels. Using a threshold lower than that recommended for surgical pathology for the interpretation of p16 positivity may be appropriate for FNA cytology CB preparations. All cytopathologists in our study displayed reproducible high sensitivity and specificity values at the >10% threshold.
Imaging Course of Lung Transplantation: From Patient Selection to Postoperative Complications
Lung transplant is increasingly performed for the treatment of end-stage lung disease. As the number of lung transplants and transplant centers continues to rise, radiologists will more frequently participate in the care of patients undergoing lung transplant, both before and after transplant. Potential donors and recipients undergo chest radiography and CT as part of their pretransplant assessment to evaluate for contraindications to transplant and to aid in surgical planning. After transplant, recipients undergo imaging during the postoperative hospitalization and also in the long-term outpatient setting. Radiologists encounter a wide variety of conditions leading to end-stage lung disease and a myriad of posttransplant complications, some of which are unique to lung transplantation. Familiarity with these pathologic conditions, including their imaging findings and their temporal relationship to the transplant, is crucial to accurate radiologic interpretation. Knowledge of the surgical techniques and expected postoperative appearance prevents confusing normal posttransplant imaging findings with complications. A basic understanding of the indications, contraindications, and surgical considerations of lung transplant aids in imaging interpretation and protocoling and also facilitates communication between radiologists and transplant physicians. Despite medical and surgical advances over the past several decades, lung transplant recipients currently have an average posttransplant life expectancy of only 6.7 years. As members of the transplant team, radiologists can help maximize patient survival and hopefully increase posttransplant life expectancy and quality of life in the coming decades. Â©RSNA, 2021 An invited commentary by Bierhals is available online. Online supplemental material is available for this article.
Bronchiolar Adenoma/Pulmonary Ciliated Muconodular Papillary Tumor
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:To describe the histologic features that are helpful in the diagnosis of the rare bronchiolar adenomas/ciliated muconodular papillary tumors (BAs/CMPTs) during intraoperative consultation. METHODS:Multi-institutional retrospective review of frozen sections of 18 BAs/CMPTs. RESULTS:In 14 of 18 cases, BA/CMPT was the primary reason for sublobar lung resection, and in 4 cases, BA/CMPT was an incidental finding intraoperatively for resections performed for carcinoma in other lobes. There were 11 proximal-type/classic BAs/CMPTs and 7 distal-type/nonclassic BAs/CMPTs. Only 3 (16.7%) of 18 were correctly diagnosed at the time of frozen section, all of which were proximal type/classic. The remainder were diagnosed as adenocarcinoma (n = 7); invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (n = 1); non-small cell lung carcinoma (n = 1); cystic mucinous neoplasm, favor adenocarcinoma (either mucinous or colloid type) (n = 1); favor adenocarcinoma, cannot exclude CMPT (n = 1); atypical proliferation (n = 2); mucinous epithelial proliferation (n = 1); and mucous gland adenoma (n = 1). CONCLUSIONS:BA/CMPT can potentially be misdiagnosed as carcinoma during intraoperative consultation. On retrospective review of the frozen sections, the presence of the following may help to avoid misdiagnosis: a mixture of bland ciliated columnar cells, mucinous cells, and, most important, a basal cell layer, as well as a lack of necrosis, significant atypia, and mitoses.