D2-40: A Reliable Marker in the Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma

Pathobiology. 2006;73(1):50-54. [Link]

Muller AM, Franke FE, Muller KM.

Institute of Pathology, BG Clinics ‘Bergmannsheil’, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany.


Objective: Malignant mesotheliomas of the pleura, peritoneum and pericardium can easily be confused with either metastatic adenocarcinomas or reactive pleural lesions. D2-40, a monoclonal antibody used as a marker for seminomatous germ cell tumours and lymphatic endothelial cells, was recently described in mesothelial cells and type I but not type II pneumocytes.

Method: The immunoreactivities of D2-40 in 76 lung carcinomas of different histological types (adenocarcinomas, squamous cell, small cell, and bronchioloalveolar carcinomas) were compared with those of 36 pleural epithelioid and sarcomatoid mesotheliomas and 5 specimens of chronic pleuritis.

Results: While all 18 analysed epithelioid mesotheliomas displayed a strong membranous immunostaining, 18 sarcomatoid mesotheliomas showed no, or a merely faint, cytoplasmic signal, comparable with fibroblasts in chronic pleuritis. Out of all analysed lung carcinomas, 49 showed no immunoreactivity for D2-40 (64%), while the other 27 (36%) showed a focal weak to moderate and only cytoplasmic signal.

Conclusions: We regard D2-40 as a valid marker in the differential diagnosis of epithelioid mesotheliomas versus pulmonary adenocarcinomas. However, this marker may not properly label sarcomatoid mesotheliomas or distinguish them from reactive pleural lesions.