Diagnostic performance of immunohistochemistry markers for malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis and subtypes. A systematic review and meta-analysis

Pathology, Research, and Practice 2024 March 30 [Link]

Rafael Parra-Medina, Juan Pablo Castañeda-González, Viviana Chaves-Cabezas, Juan Pablo Alzate, Juan José Chaves


Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) poses diagnostic challenges due to its resemblance to benign pleural pathologies and different histological subtypes. Several immunohistochemistry markers have been employed to aid in accurate diagnosis.

Methods: The present systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess the diagnostic performance of various immunohistochemistry markers in malignant pleural mesothelioma diagnosis and its histological subtypes. Following the PRISMA guidelines, we systematically searched the literature for articles on using different immunohistochemical markers in MPM and its histological subtypes. EMBASE, LILACS, MEDLINE, and Virtual Health Library were searched for studies published up to August 2023. We used the QUADAS-2 (Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies) criteria to assess the quality of the included articles. Meta-analyses were performed to determine prevalence using a random-effects model.

Results: 103 studies met the inclusion criteria, comprising a diverse range of immunohistochemistry markers. EMA and desmin-loss exhibited high sensitivity (96% and 92%, respectively) in distinguishing malignant pleural mesothelioma from benign pleural pathologies. Specificity was notably high for both BAP1-loss and survivin expression at 100%. Subtype-specific analyses demonstrated that EMA and HEG1 were sensitive markers for epithelioid mesothelioma, while GLUT1 showed high sensitivity for sarcomatoid mesothelioma. In cases comparing epithelioid mesothelioma and lung adenocarcinoma, CAM5.2 and calretinin displayed high sensitivity, while WT1 and BAP1-loss demonstrated exceptional specificity for malignant epithelioid mesothelioma. In the case of sarcomatoid mesothelioma and sarcomatoid lung carcinoma, GATA3 exhibited the most heightened sensitivity, while GATA3 and D2-40 displayed the best specificity for sarcomatoid malignant mesothelioma diagnosis.

Conclusion: Immunohistochemistry markers are essential in accurately diagnosing malignant pleural mesothelioma and its histological subtypes. This systematic review and meta-analysis provide a comprehensive insight into the diagnostic performance of these markers, facilitating their potential clinical utility in the discrimination of malignant pleural mesothelioma from other pleural pathologies and the differentiation of malignant pleural mesothelioma subtypes.