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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1996 Jan;153(1):411-6.

P53 in squamous metaplasia: a marker for risk of respiratory tract carcinoma.

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Department of Pathology and Pulmonology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


Dysplasia in squamous metaplasia of the respiratory tract was believed to be a reversible premalignant lesion. Recently, presumably irreversible genetic alterations have been demonstrated in squamous metaplasia with dysplasia in lung-resection specimens. The genetic alterations were closely similar to those in adjacent bronchial carcinoma. There remains the question of which changes in squamous metaplastic lesions are premalignant, and which of these changes predict the occurrence of carcinoma of the respiratory tract. The purpose of this study was to determine the positive predictive value for respiratory-tract malignancy of the grade of dysplasia, p53 immunoreactivity, proliferative activity, and Bcl-2 in bronchial biopsy specimens exhibiting squamous metaplasia. Bronchial biopsies of 51 patients with squamous metaplasia diagnosed between 1982 and 1993 were used. Immunohistochemistry was done after microwave pretreatment of the biopsy specimens. Only unequivocally stained nuclei were counted. Normal bronchial epithelium obtained from autopsies was used as a control. In 31 patients, a synchronous or metachronous carcinoma was present (61%). Positive p53 immunoreactivity was found in 22 of the 51 patients (43%). The positive predictive values of p53 and of a high grade of dysplasia for carcinoma of the respiratory tract were 91% and 80%, respectively. Although the hyperproliferative state of squamous metaplastic lesions was clearly established, neither the percentage of MIB-1 labelling nor the mitotic index distinguished patient groups with and without carcinoma. No increased Bcl-2 immunostaining was found in squamous metaplasia. In conclusion, p53 immunoreactivity in squamous metaplastic lesions in bronchial biopsies is a marker of carcinoma of the respiratory tract.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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