Article

Expression of glypican-3 in undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma and mesenchymal hamartoma of the liver

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.
Human pathology (Impact Factor: 2.81). 09/2011; 43(5):695-701. DOI: 10.1016/j.humpath.2011.06.016
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Glypican-3 (GPC3) is an oncofetal protein that has been demonstrated to be a useful diagnostic immunomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatoblastoma. Its expression in mesenchymal tumors of the liver, particularly undifferentiated embryonal sarcoma (UES) and mesenchymal hamartoma (MH), has not been investigated. In this study, a total of 24 UESs and 18 MHs were immunohistochemically stained for GPC3 expression. The results showed cytoplasmic staining for GPC3 in 14 (58%) UESs, of which 6 exhibited diffuse immunoreactivity and the remaining 8 showed focal positivity. The patients with GPC3-positive UES tended to be younger (mean 18 years; median 11 years) than those with GPC3-negative tumors (mean 39.4 years; median 27 years), although the difference did not reach statistical significance (P = .06). Eight MHs also exhibited GPC3 immunoreactivity (44%; 4 diffuse and 4 focal). Positive staining in all 8 cases was primarily seen in entrapped nonlesional hepatocytes with a canalicular and cytoplasmic staining pattern. In only 4 cases (22%) was GPC3 immunoreactivity also observed in the mesenchymal component. The patients with positive staining also tended to be younger (mean 2.6 years; median 1.1 years) compared with those with negative staining (mean 16.3 years; median 4.5 years), but the difference was not statistically significant (P = .15). Our data demonstrate that GPC3 is expressed in a subset of UES and MH of the liver. Caution should thus be exercised when evaluating a GPC3-expressing hepatic neoplasm, particularly on a needle biopsy when the differential diagnosis includes poorly differentiated hepatocellular carcinoma or hepatoblastoma.

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