, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 130–138 | Cite as

Mutational profile of papillary thyroid microcarcinoma with extensive lymph node metastasis

  • Min Ji Jeon
  • Sung Min Chun
  • Ji-Young Lee
  • Kyeong Woon Choi
  • Deokhoon Kim
  • Tae Yong Kim
  • Se Jin Jang
  • Won Bae Kim
  • Young Kee Shong
  • Dong Eun SongEmail author
  • Won Gu KimEmail author
Original Article



Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma (PTMC) has excellent outcomes, but extensive lymph node (LN) metastasis can be associated with fatal outcomes. We evaluated the mutational profiles of primary tumors and their metastatic LNs of PTMCs with extensive lateral cervical LN metastases.


Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded archival samples from 16 sets of normal thyroid tissue, the primary PTMC, and the largest metastatic LN were used for targeted sequencing.


A total of seven somatic variants were confirmed in the PTMCs compared to the normal tissue. The BRAFV600E mutation was the most common and seen in 12 primary tumors (75%) and 11 metastatic LNs (69%). A nonsense mutation in AR and an in-frame deletion in ACVR2A were detected in one primary tumor and its metastatic LN (6%). Missense mutations in KMT2A, RAF1, and ROS1 were detected in one primary tumor (3%). A frameshift deletion mutation in JAK2 was detected in a metastatic LN (3%). In PTMCs without the BRAF mutation, an ALK and RET rearrangement (one PTMC and its metastatic LN, 6%) was detected. In one patient, the BRAF mutation was detected in the primary tumor, but only a RET rearrangement was detected in its metastatic LN. No mutations were detected in two patients.


The mutational frequency of PTMCs was really low, even in those with extensive LN metastasis. The mutational status of the primary tumor and its metastatic LNs were not significantly different, and this suggests a minor role for genetic alterations in the process of LN metastasis in PTMC.


Papillary thyroid microcarcinoma DNA mutational analysis High-throughput nucleotide sequencing Translational research 



This study was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea Research Grant (NRF-2017R1D1A1B03028231).

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 were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review board and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all participants included in the study, except 2two patients who died before the initiation of this study.

Supplementary material

12020_2019_1842_MOESM1_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary Tables


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Center for Cancer Genome Discovery, Asan Institute for Life Science, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulKorea
  4. 4.Asan Medical Institute of Convergence Science and Technology, Asan Medical CenterUniversity of Ulsan College of MedicineSeoulKorea

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