Comparison of immunohistochemical mesothelial biomarkers in paired biopsies and effusion cytology cell blocks from pleural mesothelioma

Cytopathology 2023 June 19 [Link]

Mohammed S I Mansour, Adela Huseinzade, Tomas Seidal, Kim Hejny, Athar Maty, Fereshteh Taheri-Eilagh, Ulrich Mager, Annika Dejmek, Katalin Dobra, Hans Brunnström


Objective: Traditionally, the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma is based on histological material. Minimally invasive effusion cytology specimens are an alternative that, like biopsies, require ancillary analyses. Validation of immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses on cytology, including the surrogate markers for molecular alterations BAP1 and MTAP, is of interest.

Methods: IHC for eight different markers was performed on 59 paired formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded pleural biopsies and pleural effusion cell blocks with mesothelioma. Immunoreactivity in ≥10% of tumour cells was considered positive/preserved. The concordance between histological and cytological materials was assessed.

Results: The overall percentage of agreement between the histological epithelioid component in 58 biopsies and paired cell blocks was 93% for calretinin, 98% for CK5, 97% for podoplanin, 90% for WT1, 86% for EMA, 100% for desmin, 91% for BAP1, and 72% for MTAP. For 11 cases with biphasic or sarcomatoid histology, the concordance between cytology and the histological sarcomatoid component was low for calretinin, CK5, and WT1 (all ≤45%). For the whole cohort, loss of both BAP1 and MTAP was seen in 40% while both markers were preserved in 11% of the biopsies for epithelioid histology. The corresponding numbers were 54% and 8%, respectively, for the paired cell blocks.

Conclusions: Generally, a high concordance for IHC staining was seen between paired biopsies and pleural effusion cell blocks from mesotheliomas, but the somewhat lower agreement for WT1, EMA, and especially MTAP calls for further investigation and local quality assurance. The lower concordance for the sarcomatoid subtype for some markers may indicate biological differences.