Diagnostic utility of immunohistochemistry in distinguishing between epithelioid pleural mesotheliomas and breast carcinomas: a comparative study

Human Pathology. 2014 Mar 27. [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Ordonez NG, Sahin AA.


Epithelioid mesotheliomas and breast carcinomas can present a variety of morphologic patterns. Because of this, breast carcinomas that metastasize to the pleura and lung may be confused with mesotheliomas. The aim of the present study is to compare the immunohistochemical markers currently available for the diagnosis of these 2 malignancies and to determine the best panel of markers that can be used to assist in discriminating between them. Sixty epithelioid mesotheliomas and 80 breast carcinomas (40 triple negative and 40 estrogen receptor positive) were investigated for expression of the positive mesothelioma markers calretinin, keratin 5/6, mesothelin, podoplanin, thrombomodulin, and WT1; the positive carcinoma marker claudin 4; and the breast-associated markers gross cystic disease fluid protein 15 (GCDFP-15), mammaglobin, and GATA3. All of the epithelioid mesotheliomas reacted for calretinin and keratin 5/6, 93% for WT1; 88% for podoplanin; 77% for thrombomodulin; 23% for GATA3; and 0% for claudin 4, GCDFP-15, and mammaglobin, respectively. Of the triple-negative breast carcinomas, 100% expressed claudin 4; 5%, keratin 5/6; 30%, GATA3; 18%, mammaglobin; 15%, GCDFP-15; 56%, mesothelin; 38%, calretinin; 18%, thrombomodulin; 5%, WT1; and 3%, podoplanin. Among the estrogen receptor-positive breast carcinomas, 100% were claudin 4 and GATA3 positive; 70% expressed GCDFP-15; 63%, mammaglobin; 13%, calretinin; 13%, thrombomodulin; 8%, WT1; 5%, keratin 5/6; 3%, mesothelin; and 0%, podoplanin. It is concluded that podoplanin and WT1 are the best positive mesothelioma markers for differentiating epithelioid mesotheliomas from breast carcinomas. An accurate differential diagnosis can be reached with the use of these two markers in combination with the breast-associated markers GCDFP-15, mammaglobin, and GATA3.