Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 97–100 | Cite as

MicroRNA expression profile of thyroid nodules in fine-needle aspiration cytology: a confirmatory series

  • M. G. Castagna
  • C. Marzocchi
  • T. Pilli
  • R. Forleo
  • F. Pacini
  • S. CantaraEmail author
Rapid Communication



MiRNAs are small endogenous non-coding RNAs implicated with gene expression regulation. Changes in miRNA levels have been reported in thyroid cancer. Fine-needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) is the most reliable tool for differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules.


We have analyzed 174 FNAC from 168 patients with thyroid nodules for expression levels of 11 miRNAs (miRNA197; -187; -181b-3p; -181b-5p; -224; -181a; 146b; -221; -222; -155 and miRNA183) known to be up-regulated in cancer tissues compared to benign lesions. Expression of miRNAs was analyzed in FNA samples calculating the fold change of miRNA expression relative to normal thyroid tissue after normalization to an endogenous control.


In FNAC, miRNA expression was confirmed to be higher in malignant or suspicious for malignancy nodules compared to benign, only for miRNA146b, -222 and -221 (fold change expression ≥ 5).


In this study, we confirmed that a limited set of miRNAs can be used for the differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules.


Fine-needle aspiration cytology miRNA221 miRNA222 miRNA146b Thyroid cancer 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with local ethical committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent has been required and signed by each participant to the study.


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. G. Castagna
    • 1
  • C. Marzocchi
    • 1
  • T. Pilli
    • 1
  • R. Forleo
    • 1
  • F. Pacini
    • 1
  • S. Cantara
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Medical, Surgical and Neurological SciencesUniversity of SienaSienaItaly

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