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Novel Immunohistochemical Markers in the Diagnosis of Nonglial Tumors of Nervous System

Takei, Hidehiro MD; Powell, Suzanne Z. MD

Advances in Anatomic Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3181cfb7ae
Review Articles

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) has become an important adjunct tool in diagnostic neuro-oncology practice enabling immunophenotypic characterization of tumor cells. There have been several recent publications regarding new IHC markers that are useful for diagnosis of brain tumors. To introduce the latest advances in IHC in this field, we review the features of novel IHC marker antibodies applicable to selected nonglial tumors in the nervous system, based on recently published reports and our own experiences. We discuss (1) aquaporin-1 and α-inhibin for hemangioblastoma, (2) β-catenin for craniopharyngioma, (3) brachyury for chordoma, and (4) INI-1 for hereditary schwannomas. All the markers presented here are used primarily for supporting or confirming the histologic diagnosis, with the exception of (4), which may be of help in identification of inherited forms in schwannomas. As with other surgical pathology practices, the judicious use of a panel of IHC antibodies selected on the basis of the histologic findings is important for an accurate diagnosis of brain tumors. Of note is that IHC results should be always interpreted in the histopathologic context.

Author Information

Department of Pathology, The Methodist Hospital, Houston, TX

Reprints: Hidehiro Takei, MD, Department of Pathology, The Methodist Hospital, 6565 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77030 (e-mail: figures can be viewed online in color at

This article was partially presented at United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology 2009 Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, March 7–13, 2009.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.