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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2002 May;46(5):661-6.

Immunostaining for cytokeratin 20 improves detection of micrometastatic Merkel cell carcinoma in sentinel lymph nodes.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNBx) can identify Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) micrometastasis.

OBJECTIVE:

We attempted to examine the effectiveness of immunostaining and identify antibodies most appropriate for evaluation of SLNBxs for MCC.

METHODS:

Histopathologic material from 10 patients with MCC who had SLNBx was reviewed.

RESULTS:

Twenty-three SLNBxs from 10 patients appeared tumor-free in routine hematoxylin-eosin (H&E)-stained sections. However, tumor cells were detected in immunostained sections from 5 (22%) of 23 SLNBxs in 4 (40%) of 10 patients. Immunostains with pancytokeratin (panCK), cytokeratin-20 (CK-20), neurofilament protein, and chromogranin A were used for all primary and SLNBx specimens. All 5 (100%) micrometastatic foci stained strongly for CK-20 and panCK. Background normal lymph node tissue also stained for panCK but not for CK-20.

CONCLUSION:

Examination of H&E sections alone is insufficient for excluding micrometastatic MCC in sentinel lymph nodes. We observed the greatest sensitivity and specificity with anti-CK-20 antibody in identifying micrometastatic MCC in sentinel lymph nodes.

PMID:
12004304
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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