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Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2013;34(3):254-6.

Immunohistochemical evaluation of epithelial antigen Ber-Ep4 and CD10: new markers for endometriosis?

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Gynaecologic and Obstetric Clinic, Department of Surgical, Microsurgical and Medical Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy



Early and certain diagnoses of endometriosis are mandatory to begin the correct treatment and to exclude the risk of endometriosis-associated ovarian carcinoma (EOC) and endometrial stromal sarcoma (ESS).


To assess the immunohistochemical expression of Ber-Ep4, an epithelial antigen, and CD10 in endometriosis.


Forty-eight women underwent laparoscopic surgery for endometriosis and endometriotic samples were recovered for histology. In all surgical specimens Ber-Ep4 and CD10 were searched by an immnohistochemical method. The authors evaluated the correlations among the immunohistochemical positivity and the location of endometriosis.


Most cases (40/48 83.34%) were represented by ovarian endometriotic cyst. Among the eight remaining cases, three (3/48, 6.25%) were pelvic endometriotic lesions, two (2/48, 4.17%) peritoneum of vesico-uterine pouch, one vaginal lesion (2.08%), one salpinx lesion (2.08%), and one inguinal location (2.08%). Ber-Ep4 and CD10 were expressed in 90% and in 100% of the ovarian lesions, respectively. In pelvic lesions Ber-Ep4 and CD10 showed both 66.67% of positivity and had the same pattern in peritoneal, salpinx, vaginal, and inguinal lesions (50%, 100%, 100%, 100%, respectively). Ber-Ep4 was negative in 6/48 (12.5%) cases whereas CDO10 was negative in 2/48 (4.17%) cases of endometriosis. The sensitivity of Ber-Ep4 and CD10 for endometriosis diagnosis were 87.50% and 95.83%, respectively. Immunohistochemistry for Ber-Ep4 showed positivity in all cases of endometriosis with typical cubic epithelium, whereas CD10 was positive in 1/2 (50%) atypical case.


Immunohistochemical expression of Ber-Ep4 and CD10 was positive in most cases of endometriosis and was useful in differential diagnosis with mesothelial cysts. Ber-Ep4 was negative in cases of hyperplastic epithelium or cytological atypia; these cases are not well-differentiated and could be optimally treated by surgery and not by hormonal therapy because of the risk of cancer degeneration.

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