This study explores the potential use of high-resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy as an ancillary diagnostic technique for papillary thyroid carcinoma in thyroid fine-needle aspiration biopsies. The method has already been shown to be effective in the classification of various other nonthyroid cancers.
Twenty-six samples (13 paired cytologic and histologic samples) from patients being evaluated for thyroid abnormalities at the Massachusetts General Hospital were spectroscopically analyzed, and included: papillary thyroid carcinomas (n = 4), follicular adenomas (n = 4), and normal thyroid samples (n = 5). Metabolic profiles were statistically generated based on the spectroscopy results, which were then correlated with the final cytologic and histologic diagnoses from the same samples to determine the diagnostic capacity of the profiles.
Principal component analysis of the tissue samples revealed statistically significant correlations among principal components and various cytologic and histologic features. Canonical score 1, calculated with principal components in correlation with analyzed pathologies, revealed the ability of the metabolic profile to differentiate all three examined histologic tissue groups (ANOVA, p < 0.0001). Applying coefficients of principal components and canonical scores obtained with tissue samples directly onto spectral results of cytology samples, the calculated canonical score 1 also revealed similar trends among the three fine-needle aspiration biopsy groups. In particular, the papillary thyroid carcinoma group exhibited significant differences from both the adenomatous and normal cytology groups (p < 0.0170).
The results indicate the potential of high-resolution magic angle spinning proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy as an ancillary marker for papillary thyroid carcinoma in fine-needle aspiration biopsy specimens.