Gross, histologic, cytochemical, and immunocytochemical study of medullary thyroid carcinoma in sixteen dogs

Patnaik AK, Lieberman PH.

Vet Pathol 1991;28:223-233

The gross, histomorphologic, cytochemical, and immunocytochemical findings in 16 dogs with medullary thyroid carcinoma were evaluated. Grossly, the neoplasms were encapsulated, firm, lobulated, and grey-white to tan. The typical histologic pattern was groups or sheets of round to polygonal cells with fibrovascular stroma, which was thickened and hyalinized in places. Variants of clear cell (two dogs), giant cell (one dog), and oxyphil cell (one dog) types were also seen. In all 16 dogs, Grimelius-stained sections of the neoplasms revealed intracytoplasmic silver granules; ten tumors contained amyloid and four contained mucin. Immunohistochemically, the neoplasms reacted to AE1/AE3 (n = 13), S-100 protein (n = 5), neuron specific enolase (n = 14), synaptophysin (n = 11), calcitonin (n = 16), somatostatin (n = 4), gastrin (n = 7), and serotonin (n = 6). Only one neoplasm was positive for vimentin. None of the neoplasms reacted to antibodies for neurofilaments, thyroglobulin, insulin, glucagon, or adrenocorticotrophic hormone. Eleven neoplasms contained multiple (two to four) peptides, in various combinations. It was concluded that in dogs, gross and histologic features can be used to distinguish medullary thyroid carcinoma from other thyroid malignancies. Cytochemical and immunocytochemical studies with neuron specific enolase, synaptophysin, and calcitonin can be used to establish the diagnosis of medullary thyroid carcinoma in dogs.