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Am J Surg Pathol. 1986 Sep;10(9):589-94.

Intramammary lymphatic invasion in breast carcinomas. Evaluation using ABH isoantigens as endothelial markers.


Recent studies indicate that intramammary lymphatic invasion represents an important prognostic parameter in breast carcinomas. However, the identification of intramammary lymphatic invasion in tissue sections is a subjective procedure, frequently hampered by factors such as fixation artefacts and interobserver variations. In this study, monoclonal antibodies to ABH isoantigens were applied on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast carcinoma tissue by using the avidin-biotin-peroxidase complex technique. In addition, the H antigen was localized using the Ulex europeus agglutinin I lectin binding technique. Isoantigen localization provided excellent delineation of lymphatics and blood vessels, in general unhampered by the retention of isoantigen expression in some breast carcinomas. In comparison, Factor VIII-related antigen localization required prior trypsin enhancement and was less sensitive and less consistent. The staining for isoantigens was more intense in vascular than in lymphatic endothelium. ABH isoantigen localization of lymphatic channels identified lymphatic tumor emboli peripheral to and within the carcinomas, and distinguished bona fide intramammary lymphatic invasion from tissue shrinkage artefacts. The applicability to routinely processed tissue permits retrospective studies and renders the identification of intramammary lymphatic invasion a more objective procedure. Further studies are needed to assess the role of this technique in evaluating the prognostic value of intramammary lymphatic invasion; the technique may be extended also to the study of other neoplasms.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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