HEG1, BAP1, and MTAP Are Useful in Cytologic Diagnosis of Malignant Mesothelioma With Effusion

Diagnostic Cytopathology 2020 May 22 [Link]

Kenzo Hiroshima, Di Wu, Shinji Hamakawa, Shingo Tsuruoka, Daisuke Ozaki, Hideki Orikasa, Mizue Hasegawa, Eitetsu Koh, Yasuo Sekine, Yoko Yonemori, Kazuki Nabeshima, Shoutaro Tsuji, Yohei Miyagi, Kohzoh Imai


Background: The specificity and sensitivity of HEG1 for malignant mesothelioma (MM) is high. The use of BAP1/MTAP immunohistochemistry (IHC) is recommended to separate benign and malignant mesothelial proliferations. We determined how ancillary techniques can be used for the cytological diagnosis of MM with effusion.

Methods: Cell blocks from effusions from cases with MM, reactive mesothelial cells (RMCs), and carcinomas were analyzed by IHC with HEG1, BAP1, and MTAP and with homozygous deletion (HD) of CDKN2A by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Staining scores were calculated for IHC by adding the number of categories for the staining intensity and the staining extension.

Results: HEG1 was positive in all (41/41) MMs, but negative in carcinomas, except for ovarian carcinomas. Overall 76.9% (20/26) of RMCs and 28.6% (6/21) of ovarian carcinomas expressed HEG1. BAP1 loss was found in 71.1% of MMs, but none was found in RMCs. MTAP loss was found in 76.2% of MMs, but none was found in RMCs. 73.9% of MMs harbored HD of CDKN2A. There was concordance between loss of MTAP and HD of CDKN2A in 95% of MMs.

Conclusion: HEG1 is a good marker for mesothelial differentiation in effusion cytology. HD of CDKN2A is frequently observed in cell blocks from effusions of MMs, and MTAP IHC may act as a surrogate for HD of CDKN2A. Cell block analysis is recommended for effusions of unknown origins with the following methods: IHC with HEG1 and claudin 4 to validate the mesothelial origin, followed by BAP1 and MTAP IHC to confirm malignancy.