α-methylacyl coenzyme A racemase (AMACR) and insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA-binding protein 3 (IMP3) are 2 markers helpful in detecting difficult cases of dysplasia in Barrett esophagus (BE). However, no comparison studies have been performed to assess their performance in the same patient population.
The aim of our study was to compare the immunohistochemical expression of IMP3 and AMACR in dysplastic lesions and early adenocarcinoma (EAC) arising in BE and evaluate their sensitivity and specificity.
A total of 98 cases [BE negative for dysplasia, n=24; indefinite for dysplasia (BE-IND), n=18; low-grade dysplasia (LGD), n=24; high-grade dysplasia (HGD), n=16; and EAC, n=16] were immunostained for AMACR and IMP3 and evaluated for the degree, the extent, and the intensity of staining.
No immunoreactivity for AMACR or IMP3 was observed in all 24 cases of BE negative for dyplasia. One of 18 (5.5%) cases of BE-IND was positive for IMP3, but all were negative for AMACR. AMACR and IMP3 were positive in 16.7% versus 41.7 % of the cases with BE-LGD, 25% versus 62.5% of BE-HGD, and 62.5% versus 93.7% of EAC, respectively. The sensitivity of AMACR and IMP3 for the detection of dysplasia in BE is 16.7% and 41.7% for LGD, 25% and 62.5% for HGD, and 62.5% and 93.7% in EAC, respectively. The specificity is 100% for both markers. In addition, a comparison of the intensity of reactivity shows a better result with IMP3 (36/98, 36.7%) than with AMACR (18/98, 18.4%) (P<0.001).
IMP3 has a similar specificity, but a better sensitivity, intensity, and extent of reactivity in comparison with AMACR, and may be used as an alternative to AMACR, in support of the diagnosis of BE-dysplasia and EAC.