Ancillary studies in pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal effusion cytology.

Cancer Cytopathology 2018 August [Link]

Sundling KE, Cibas ES


Pleural, pericardial, and peritoneal effusion specimens present diagnostic challenges and clinical opportunities for cytology. For the patient, these specimens may be the first diagnosis of malignancy or the first sign of disease recurrence. This review aims to provide useful approaches with which to resolve key difficulties in cytologic diagnosis through the use of ancillary studies, focusing on immunohistochemistry. These approaches are suggested in concert with clinical, radiographic, and morphologic findings. The differentiation of reactive mesothelial cells from malignant mesothelioma and adenocarcinoma is a recurring theme, and Wilms tumor 1 (WT1)/AE1/AE3, claudin 4, and BRCA1-associated protein 1 (BAP1) immunostains are useful new tools in the armamentarium. A targeted workup is suggested for patients with no known primary site or with multiple prior malignancies. Molecular and other biomarker testing can be performed on even modestly cellular fluid specimens and may allow patients to benefit from targeted therapy without the need for additional tissue biopsies.