Different imaging tools, circulating endocrine markers, and fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytology are of great importance in the diagnosis and follow-up of different thyroid and parathyroid diseases. Sometimes, however, they are conflicting or inconclusive: interestingly, measuring endocrine markers (i.e. thyroglobulin, calcitonin, parathyroid hormone) in fluids from FNA proved to be a very useful complementary diagnostic tool in such cases. The determination of endocrine markers in fluids other than serum/plasma has been developed in the last years. Although studies have reported overall satisfactory results, a good standardization of procedures has not yet been reached, and further efforts should be made in order to better define pre-analytical, analytical, and post-analytical aspects. Here we reviewed critically the literature on the measurement of FNA endocrine markers, focusing on laboratory issues, such as preparation of the sample, choice of solution, and technical features of determination of these markers. Indeed, information for use of FNA-Tg, FNA-CT, and FNA-PTH in clinical practice was also provided.
Keywords: calcitonin; fine-needle aspiration; parathyroid hormone; thyroglobulin; washout.