GATA3 is a useful immunohistochemical marker for distinguishing sarcomatoid malignant mesothelioma from lung sarcomatoid carcinoma and organizing pleuritis

Virchows Archiv 2021 February 11 [Link]

Zheng Hua Piao, Xin Cheng Zhou, Jia Yi Chen


Sarcomatoid malignant mesothelioma (SMM) tends to occur in the pleura and is morphologically similar to lung sarcomatoid carcinoma (LSC) and organizing pleuritis (OP). Because SMM often does not express mesothelial markers, it is very difficult to distinguish from LSC and OP. GATA-binding protein 3 (GATA3) is a specific immunohistochemical (IHC) marker of breast and urothelial carcinoma. We routinely find that GATA is expressed in MM; however, GATA3 expression in SMM and its reference value for distinguishing SMM from LSC and OP remain unclear. Here, we used IHC methods to detect the expression of GATA3 and classic mesothelial markers in 17 SMM, 12 LSC, and 7 OP cases. We detected the following expression rates in SMM versus LSC cases: GATA3 (70.6% vs. 16.7%, p = 0.008), calretinin (52.9% vs. 8.3%, p = 0.019), Wilms tumor (WT)-1 (64.7% vs. 0%, p = 0.000), D2-40 (47.1% vs. 16.7%, p = 0.126), CK5/6 (35.3% vs. 25.0%, p = 0.694), and pan-cytokeratin (CKpan) (88.2% vs. 100.0%, p = 0.498). The specificities of calretinin, WT-1, and GATA3 in distinguishing SMM from LSC were 91.7%, 100%, and 83.3%, respectively, and combinations of any two of these three markers exhibited 100% specificity for SMM. Notably, the sensitivity of calretinin+/WT1+ staining for SMM was only 23.5%, which increased to 64.7% after including GATA3. Furthermore, all OP cases showed partial or diffuse expression of CKpan, WT-1, and D2-40 but no GATA3 and calretinin expression. In conclusion, GATA3 is an IHC marker with excellent sensitivity and specificity for SMM, and the combined consideration of GATA3, calretinin, and WT-1 was best for distinguishing SMM from LSC. Moreover, CKpan, WT-1, and D2-40 had no value for distinguishing SMM from OP, and GATA3 and calretinin were the most specific markers for distinguishing these two lesions.