Endocrine Pathology | 2019
A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Diagnostic Performance of BRAF V600E Immunohistochemistry in Thyroid Histopathology
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) in evaluating thyroid surgical specimens may facilitate diagnostic and prognostic evaluation, with potential therapeutic implications. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis examining the analytic validity of IHC in detecting BRAFV600E mutations in thyroid cancer (primary or metastatic). We screened citations from three electronic databases (until December 20, 2018), supplemented by a hand search of authors’ files and cross-references of reviews. Citations and full-text papers were independently reviewed in duplicate, and consensus was achieved on inclusion of papers. Two reviewers independently critically appraised and abstracted data from included papers. Random-effect meta-analyses were conducted for sensitivity and specificity estimates. We reviewed 1499 unique citations and 93 full-text articles. We included 1 systematic review and 30 original articles. The published review (from 2015) needed to be updated as there were multiple subsequent original studies. The pooled sensitivity of IHC in detecting a BRAFV600E mutation was 96.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] at 94.1%, 98.3%) (29 studies, including 2659 BRAFV600E mutant tumors). The IHC pooled specificity was 86.3% (95% CI 80.7%, 90.4%) (28 studies, including 1107 BRAFV600E wild-type specimens). These meta-analyses were subject to statistically significant heterogeneity, partly explained by antibody type (sensitivity and specificity) and tissue/tumor type (specificity). In conclusion, BRAF IHC is highly sensitive and reasonably specific in detecting the BRAFV600E mutation; however, there is some variability in analytic performance.