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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

Published in Association with the European Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (EFLM)

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Evaluation of a new method for the diagnosis of alterations of Lens culinaris agglutinin binding of thyroglobulin molecules in thyroid carcinoma

Toshiharu Kanai1 / Masao Amakawa2 / Ryoji Kato2 / Kayoko Shimizu3 / Kenji Nakamura3 / Ken-ichi Ito1 / Yoshihisa Hama1 / Minoru Fujimori4 / Jun Amano1

1Division of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Department of Surgery (II), Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto, Japan

2Department of Medical Technology, Kagawa Prefectural College of Health Sciences, Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan

3Diagnostics Reseach Laboratories, Wako Pure Chemical Industries Ltd, Japan

4Department of Breast Surgery, Tokyo Medical University, Kasumigaura Hospital, Ami, Japan

Corresponding author: Toshiharu Kanai, Division of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621, Japan Phone: +81 263 37 2657, Fax: +81 263 37 2721,

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine. Volume 47, Issue 10, Pages 1285–1290, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: 10.1515/CCLM.2009.277, September 2009

Publication History

Published Online:


Background: The measurement of serum thyroglobulin (Tg) is widely used as a marker for recurrence of thyroid carcinoma following total thyroidectomy. However, this method cannot differentiate between benign and malignant disease. We focused on the sugar chain in the Tg molecule and investigated the usefulness of Lens culinaris agglutinin (LCA)-reactive Tg ratios in sera and wash fluids obtained during fine-needle aspiration (FNA) for the detection of thyroid carcinoma.

Methods: The study was performed using 203 serum samples (115 from patients with benign thyroid disease and 88 from patients with thyroid carcinomas) and 176 wash fluid samples (143 benign, 21 malignant, and 12 inconclusive). LCA-reactive Tg ratios were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and a comparison was made between malignant and benign lesions.

Results: In serum, the ratio in patients with malignancy was 79.5±6.0 [mean±standard deviation (SD)], significantly lower than in patients with benign lesions (84.9±3.5). The ratios in wash fluid from malignant lesions (75.8±18.9) were also significantly lower than those from benign lesions (85.6±3.9).

Conclusions: These results suggest that this method could distinguish between benign and malignant lesions and may be useful for screening serum and wash samples.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2009;47:1285–90.

Keywords: Lens culinaris agglutinin; sugar chain; thyroglobulin; thyroid carcinoma

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