Serrano MF, El-Mofty SK, Gnepp DR, et al. Utility of high molecular weight cytokeratins, but not p63, in the differential diagnosis of neuroendocrine and basaloid carcinomas of the head and neck

Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
Human Pathlogy (Impact Factor: 2.77). 05/2008; 39(4):591-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.humpath.2007.08.019
Source: PubMed


High-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas of the head and neck overlap significantly in morphology with both basaloid squamous and solid-type adenoid cystic carcinomas. High-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas have sheets of small cells with scant cytoplasm, granular chromatin, and inconspicuous nucleoli. Basaloid squamous and adenoid cystic carcinomas are aggressive variants of their respective tumor types which both have nests of basaloid tumor cells with round nuclei, little cytoplasm, and inconspicuous nucleoli. As the management and prognosis of these tumors are very different, it is important to differentiate them. We performed high molecular weight cytokeratin (CK) and p63 immunohistochemistry on 19 neuroendocrine carcinomas, 18 basaloid squamous carcinomas, and 11 solid-type adenoid cystic carcinomas. All tumors were immunostained for p63, CK 34betaE12, CK 5/6, synaptophysin, chromogranin-A, S-100, and smooth muscle actin. All basaloid squamous and adenoid cystic carcinomas were positive for CK 5/6 and 34betaE12. Only 4 and 5 of the 19 neuroendocrine carcinomas, respectively, were positive for these markers. Staining was focal in the neuroendocrine cases when positive, whereas almost all basaloid squamous and adenoid cystic carcinomas showed strong staining. Almost all tumors of each type were positive for p63, including neuroendocrine carcinomas, but with different staining patterns. Basaloid squamous carcinomas were diffusely positive, neuroendocrine carcinomas were diffusely positive, but with weak staining, and adenoid cystic carcinomas showed a distinct pattern with staining at the periphery of the cell nests only. We conclude that high molecular weight cytokeratin immunostaining is helpful in distinguishing high-grade neuroendocrine carcinomas from similar tumor types.

13 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The application of immunohistochemistry in the diagnostic gastrointestinal pathology is similar to many other organ systems. The most commonly used markers are epithelial cell markers such as cytokeratin AE1/3, cytokeratin 7 and cytokeratin 20, and markers for common mesenchymal tumors such as CD117, CD34, S100, desmin, etc. Tumors of neuroendocrine origin are probably more commonly seen in the digestive and pulmonary systems. A synaptophysin and chromogranin immunostain generally can confirm their ­neuroendocrine nature. Use of immunohistochemical studies to evaluate dysplasia in Barrett’s esophagus is still investigational, although many have found p53 overexpression helpful in confirming dysplasia, particularly in high-grade dysplasia. The use of immunohistochemical studies in nonneoplastic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract is limited. Finally, immunohistochemistry, like GCDFP-15 immunostain, may play a critical role in differentiating certain metastases, such as lobular carcinoma of the breast, from primary tumors, including gastric signet ring cell carcinoma. KeywordsDysplasia-Carcinoma-GIST-Neuroendocrine-Metastasis-Keratin-CD117-Synaptophysin
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 1970
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This chapter is designed as an easy reference for the practicing pathologist aiming to solve diagnostic problems in head and neck pathology by immunohistochemistry (IHC). It is a collection of 38 practical tables including tables for commonly used antibodies, IHC reactions in normal salivary gland, IHC reactions in common salivary gland and head and neck tumors, and IHC reactions to resolve differential diagnostic challenges. Also included are practical footnotes and photographic illustrations. KeywordsHead and neck pathology-Immunohisto­chemistry-Salivary gland tumors-Antibodies
    No preview · Chapter · Jan 1970

  • No preview · Article · Jan 1979 · Probation Journal
Show more