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Am J Surg Pathol. 2001 Jan;25(1):43-50.

Immunohistochemical panels for differentiating epithelial malignant mesothelioma from lung adenocarcinoma: a study with logistic regression analysis.

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Felice Addarii Institute, Department of Oncology and Hematology, University School of Medicine, Azienda Ospedaliera Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.


Immunohistochemistry provides an important indicator for differential diagnosis between pleural malignant mesothelioma and lung adenocarcinoma, which have complex therapeutic and medicolegal implications. To pinpoint a reliable, restricted panel of markers, the authors evaluated the efficacy of select commercial antibodies in a series of patients with confirmed clinicopathologic diagnosis of mesothelioma or lung adenocarcinoma with the aid of multiple logistic classification tables. Specimens of 46 mesotheliomas and 20 lung adenocarcinomas were examined with calretinin, thrombomodulin, cytokeratins (CKs) 5/6, and high-molecular weight CKs (indicators of mesothelioma), alongside MOC 31, Ber-EP4, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA; indicators of lung adenocarcinoma). Of the mesotheliomas, 40 of 46 (87%) were positive with calretinin, 29 of 46 (63%) with thrombomodulin, 40 of 46 (87%) with CKs 5/6, and 41 of 46 (89%) with high-weight CKs; five of 46 mesotheliomas (11%) were focally reactive with MOC 31, four of 46 (9%) with Ber-EP4, and two of 46 (4%) with CEA. Of the lung adenocarcinomas, 18 of 20 (90%) were positive with MOC 31, 20 of 20 (100%) with Ber-EP4, and 17 of 20 (85%) with CEA; and two of 20 (10%) were focally reactive with calretinin, one of 20 (5%) with thrombomodulin, none of 20 (0%) with CKs 5/6, and five of 20 (25%) with high-weight CKs. Multiple logistic modeling indicated two batteries of three antibodies permitting more than 98% overall accuracy: Ber-EP4 plus CKs 5/6 plus calretinin, and Ber-EP4 plus CKs 5/6 plus CEA.

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