Prospective diagnostic cohort studies that compared galectin-3 alone or with other molecular markers in the immunostaining of cytological specimens obtained via fine needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) in which histopathology served as the gold standard were eligible for inclusion. Patients had to have thyroid nodules, a report of follicular neoplasm and have final histopathology reports available.
Samples were obtained by fine needle aspiration biopsy (ultrasound guided in some studies). Testing methods included cell isolation by immunomagnetic isolation technique and galectin-3 detection with immunoblotting; avidin-biotin complex and two smears was used for galectin 3 immunohistochemistry. Positivity for galectin 3 was considered when more than 10%, 20% or 50% of cells were stained.
The authors stated neither how the papers were selected for the review nor how many reviewers performed the selection.