The characteristic membranous staining was not typically present in the sarcomatoid mesothelioma.
The desmoplastic variant showed weak positivity with D2-40.
In contrast, all cases (100%) of LAD were negative for D2-40 (Fig. 3d).
There was a statistically significant difference in D2-40 expression between mesothelioma and LAD (P<0.0001).
Thirteen out of 15 (87%) cases showed both cytoplasmic and nuclear staining for calretinin.
All cases of (100%) of epithelioid mesotheliomas were calretinin positive (Fig. 1d). In contrast, only two cases (50%) of sarcomatoid malignant mesotheliomas showed weak-to-moderate calretinin positivity (Fig. 2d). The desmoplastic mesothelioma showed weak positive staining with calretinin.
There was a statistically significant difference in calretinin expression between mesothelioma and LAD (P<0.0001).
However, only two cases (20%) of LAD showed weak cytoplasmic staining with calretinin.
The difference between D2-40 and calretinin expression in mesothelioma was not statistically significant (P=0.8648).
Eight cases (53%) of malignant mesothelioma showed positive nuclear staining for WT-1. The expression was observed in eight out of 10 cases (80%) of epithelioid mesothelioma (Fig. 1e). All cases (100%) of sarcomatoid malignant mesotheliomas were WT-1 negative. The desmoplastic variant was negative for WT-1.
Only one case (10%) of LAD showed patchy weak, positive WT-1 staining.
The difference between WT-1 expression in MPM and LAD was statistically significant (P=0.0151).
There was a statistically significant difference between D2-40 and WT-1 expression in mesothelioma (P=0.0417).
Thyroid transcription factor-1 and carcinoembryonic antigen
The expression pattern, in detail, of TTF-1 and CEA in LAD is shown in Table 1 and Fig. 3.
TTF-1 and CEA staining was present in eight and nine cases (80 and 90%) of LADs, respectively. However, only one case (10%) of epithelioid mesothelioma showed focal weak staining for CEA; however, this case was positive for D2-40, calretinin, and WT-1.
TTF-1 was not detected in any case of malignant mesothelioma.
MPM is a challenging disease in terms of diagnosis and treatment; early and accurate diagnosis can lead to appropriate clinical management.
The histological picture of mesothelioma especially the epithelioid variant, in some cases, has a strong resemblance to that of LAD. This leads to major problems for surgical pathologists in differentiating mesothelioma from LAD, especially when using hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections alone.
Recent studies suggested that D2-40 might be helpful in differentiating MPM from adenocarcinoma because it reacted with MPM but not with other tumors (Takeshima et al., 2009; Sandeck et al., 2010; Kao et al., 2011; Betta et al., 2012).
In the present study, D2-40 expression was found in 87% of MPM.
Ninety percent of epithelioid mesothelioma were positive for D2-40 with characteristic diffuse and strong membranous staining in the majority of epithelioid MPM; however, 75% of sarcomatoid mesothelioma were positive for D2-40, but the staining was less intense than that in the epithelioid variant. In addition, the interpretation of D2-40 staining in sarcomatoid mesothelioma was complicated by the loss of the characteristic membranous staining pattern observed in epithelioid mesotheliomas. These results are consistent with previously published reports (Kushitani et al., 2008; Hu et al., 2010; Kao et al., 2011). In contrast, Ordóñez (2005) was not able to detect D2-40 immunoreactivity in sarcomatoid malignant mesothelioma.
In a previously published study carried out by Hinterberger et al. (2007), on a tissue microarray, the authors found that 66% of the epithelioid and only 30% of the sarcomatoid tumor were positive for D2-40. However, this variation could be explained by the use of full tissue sections in the present study that minimized the rate of false-negative results because of tumor heterogeneity in tissue microarray.
In a recent study carried out by Chirieac et al. (2011) on 24 cases of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, the authors reported that D2-40 is a highly sensitive immunohistochemical marker for sarcomatoid mesothelioma and reported that the sensitivity of D2-40, calretinin, and WT-1 for sarcomatoid mesothelioma is 100, 25, and 33%, respectively.
In this study, all cases of LAD showed negative immunoreactivity for D2-40. However, there have been some reports on its cytoplasmic expression in a few cases of LAD (Mimura et al., 2007).
In the current work, 87% of malignant mesothelioma were positive for calretinin. The latter was expressed in the nucleus and cytoplasm of all cases of epithelioid mesothelioma, and in 50% of sarcomatoid mesothelioma. Cytoplasmic expression was also observed in two cases (20%) of LAD.
Similar results were obtained by Amatya et al. (2009), who also reported that cytoplasmic expression for calretinin was detected in 17.5% cases of LAD.
However, WT-1 was positive in only 53% of malignant mesothelioma, the expression was observed in 80% of epithelioid mesothelioma, and was completely absent in cases of sarcomatoid malignant mesotheliomas. Ten percent of LAD showed focal weak positive WT-1 staining.
The above-mentioned results were in agreement with those of Chu et al. (2005), who reported that 58% of epithelioid mesothelioma showed positive staining for WT-1, whereas none of the sarcomatoid mesothelioma showed such positivity. The latter authors also found that only 7% of LAD was positive for WT-1.
Similarly, in a study carried out by Amatya et al. (2009), the authors found that 60.5 and 7.5% of malignant mesothelioma and LAD were positive for WT-1, respectively.
In this work, there was only one desmoplastic variant of sarcomatoid mesothelioma, which was positive for D2-40 and calretinin, but negative for WT-1. It is noteworthy that there are only limited data on D2-40, calretinin, and WT-1 expression in the desmoplastic variant of mesothelioma in the literature. Nicolini et al. (2011) reported positive D2-40, calretinin, and WT-1 staining in the desmoplastic malignant mesothelioma of the pericardium.
In the present study, it was found that the sensitivity of D2-40 was equal to that of calretinin and markedly better than that of WT-1.
In the differentiation of mesothelioma from LAD, D2-40 showed specificity superior to that of calretinin and WT-1.
These findings suggest that D2-40 is one of the most informative markers for the diagnosis of MPM, because of its high sensitivity and specificity, and is frequently expressed in all histologic types of MPM, in contrast to other mesothelioma markers, which are commonly expressed in the epithelioid component but not in the sarcomatoid component, such as WT-1.
In contrast, the above-mentioned data contradicted those of Hinterberger et al. (2007), who found that the sensitivity of D2-40 was lower than that of calretinin in both epithelioid and sarcomatoid areas; this variation could be attributed to the use of microarray and different antibody clones in their study.
CEA is one of the negative mesothelioma markers available for the differential diagnosis of MPM and LAD.
A systematic review of 51 studies (consisting of 1524 LADs and 1818 epithelioid mesotheliomas) reported that the sensitivities and specificities of CEA for LAD are 83 and 95%, respectively (King et al., 2006).
In the current work, 90% of LADs showed positive staining for CEA; in contrast, only one case of mesothelioma was positive for CEA.
Similar results have been reported previously by Ordóñez (2013).
However, Mimura et al. (2007) and Amatya et al. (2009) could not find any expression for CEA in the mesothelioma cases, whereas CEA expression in LAD, in their studies, was 95.5 and 96.3, respectively.
TTF-1 is expressed in adenocarcinomas originating only in the thyroid or the lungs. Previous studies have shown that TTF-1 expression is present in 100% of thyroid carcinomas and in up to 75% of LADs (Tacha et al., 2012).
In this study, 80% of LAD showed strong staining for TTF-1. In contrast, no TTF-1 expression was found in any of the MPMs examined. These data were in agreement with those of (Mimura et al., 2007).
In this study, a tumor that shows immunoreactivity for D2-40, calretinin, and WT-1 antibodies, but not for CEA and TTF-1 antibodies, is unequivocally MPM, and a tumor negative for D2-40, calretinin, and WT-1, but positive for CEA and TTF-1, is unquestionably not MPM, but LAD.
In summary, the results in this work show that the inclusion of D2-40 in an immunohistochemical panel composed of calretinin, CEA, and TTF-1 will allow a definite diagnosis in the large majority of suspected cases of MPM and can definitely differentiate between MPM and LAD.
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
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