5-hmC loss is another useful tool in addition to BAP1 and MTAP immunostains to distinguish diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma from reactive mesothelial hyperplasia in peritoneal cytology cell-blocks and biopsies

Virchows Archiv 2022 May 16 [Link]

Ziyad Alsugair, Vahan Kepenekian, Tanguy Fenouil, Olivier Glehen, Laurent Villeneuve, Sylvie Isaac, Juliette Hommell-Fontaine, Nazim Benzerdjeb


The differentiation between reactive mesothelial hyperplasia (RMH) and diffuse malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (DMPM) is challenging especially when applied on peritoneal small samples. The use of BRCA-associated protein 1 (BAP1) and methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP) immunostains is familiar to identify malignant mesothelial proliferation. Recently, nuclear 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) was reported to be a new recognition tool of pleural mesothelial malignancy on surgical specimens. However, application of 5-hmC immunostaining has not yet studied in peritoneal specimens from small biopsies or cytology cell-blocks. The aim was to assess the diagnostic accuracy of this new marker combination to distinguish DMPM from RMH in biopsies and cell-blocks. Seventy-five cases were analyzed; among which, 38 were of cytological specimens including 6 RMH and 32 DMPM, and 37 tissue biopsies with 7 RMH and 30 DMPM. BAP1, MTAP, and 5-hmC immunostains were performed on all cases. RMH cases exhibited a retained staining with all immunostains. Among DMPM, BAP1 was lost in 71.8% of cytology cell-blocks and 66.7% of biopsies. MTAP was lost in 40.6% of cytology cell-blocks and 33.3% of biopsies. 5-hmC was lost in 40.6% of cytology cell-blocks and 30% of biopsies. The combination of BAP1, MTAP, and 5-hmC showed the best accuracy in differential diagnosis between RMH and DMPM (sensitivity = 0.84, specificity = 1 in cytology cell-blocks; sensitivity = 0.90, specificity = 1 in biopsy). The best diagnostic combination in peritoneal cytology effusion fluids and biopsies samples provided by BAP1, MTAP, and 5-hmC should be applied on a diagnostic step-wise algorithm by pathologists involved into the management of DMPM, because of their therapeutic implications.