Diagnostic value of estrogen receptors in thyroid lesions

Michael Vaiman*, Youlian Olevson, Liliana Habler, Alex Kessler, Sergei Zehavi, Judith Sandbank

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the presence of estrogen receptors (ER) a and b in various thyroid lesions and to assess the practicality of this test. Material/Methods: Immunohistochemical stains were performed for both ERα and ERβ, for evaluation of immunoreactivity in 296 thyroid tissue samples that consisted of 150 goiters, 90 papillary carcinomas, 19 follicular adenomas, 15 Hurtle cell adenomas, 6 Hashimoto thyroiditis, 5 anaplastic carcinomas, 4 medullary carcinomas, 4 follicular carcinomas, 2 Hurtle cell carcinomas, and 1 squamous cell carcinoma of the thyroid. Three variables were evaluated in each sample: The intensity of the staining both nuclear (1) and cytoplasmic (2), and the spread of the stain over the sample (3). Results: None of the histologic samples showed immunoreactivity for ERα. Positive immunoreactivity results for ERβ were found in tissue samples from all of the different groups of diagnoses, both benign and malignant lesions as well as in normal thyroid tissue. No significant difference was found between the various thyroid lesions. Conclusions: The study shows that ERβ is the only ER detectable in thyroid tissue. However, ERβ expression has no significant specifications for differentiation between benign and malignant lesions of the thyroid. ERα is undetectable in the thyroid. Further investigations are necessary mainly in the laboratory immunohistochemical workup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Science Monitor
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Estrogen receptors
  • Goiter
  • Immunoreactivity
  • Thyroid gland
  • Tumors


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