Pseudomesotheliomatous carcinoma of the lung with a distinct morphology, immunohistochemistry, and comparative genomic hybridization profile

Annals of Diagnostic Pathology. 2007 Aug;11(4):241-51. [Link]

Pardo J, Torres W, Martinez-Peñuela A, Panizo A, de Alava E, García JL.

Department of Pathology, Clínica Universitaria, Universidad de Navarra, 31080 Pamplona, Spain.


We report 4 cases of pseudomesotheliomatous carcinoma of the lung, which has clinical and microscopic features similar to malignant mesothelioma, but with ultrastructural, immunohistochemical, and molecular characteristics suggestive of a histogenesis from type II pneumocytes. Neoplasm grows as a diffuse or solid pattern of large polygonal cells with sharply defined borders. Hale’s colloidal iron is positive in the cytoplasm of small groups of cells and, focally, in some intercellular spaces. Ultrastructure showed short microvilli in the surface. Immunohistochemically, tumor cells were positive for thyroid transcription factor–1, podoplanin, mesothelin, pan-cytokeratin, CK-7, CK-19, Ber-EP4, epithelial membrane antigen, apoprotein surfactant A, epidermal growth factor receptor, Leu-M1, carcinoembryonic antigen, E-cadherin, and CD-44 and negative for mesothelioma markers thrombomodulin and calretinin. In some areas, there were small cysts which contained a concentric fibrilar basophilic material apoprotein surfactant A positive. Chromosomal imbalances with comparative genomic hybridization technique were identified with a median of 15 abnormalities per case (range, 1-26): 51 gains, 6 losses, and 1 high-level amplification. The most frequent aberrations among the cases were gains on chromosomes regions 1q, 3q, 5p, 8q, 16p, and 18q and losses in 17p11-13 and 17q 22-q25. High-level amplifications were detected on 7p13-p21. In all cases, there was a characteristic association between the gains on 16p and those on 18q. The 4 cases resulted in death in less than 14 months, in spite of complete surgery and chemotherapy in 2 cases. Our aim is to complement the current understanding of this pseudomesotheliomatous "pneumocytic" carcinoma and alert pathologists to this rare entity to avoid misdiagnosis.

Keywords: Lung adenocarcinoma, Pseudomesotheliomatous carcinoma, EGFR, Type II pneumocytes, CGH