Invasive micropapillary carcinoma (IMC) is generally an aggressive morphologic variant that has been described in the bladder, lung, breast, salivary gland, gastrointestinal tract, and ovary. Given the morphologic similarities between IMCs arising from different organ systems and the high propensity of this histologic subtype for lymphatic metastasis, it may be necessary to use immunohistochemical (IHC) markers to determine the primary site of an IMC. Few studies have compared the IHC profiles of IMCs originating from different sites. We tested a panel of 11 IHC markers for their ability to distinguish urothelial, lung, breast, and ovarian IMC using a tissue microarray constructed with primary tumor tissue from 47 patients with IMC (13 bladder, 6 lung, 16 breast, and 12 ovarian). For each tumor, correct classification as IMC was verified by reverse polarity MUC1 expression. We found that immunostaining for uroplakin, CK20, TTF-1, estrogen receptor (ER), WT-1 and/or PAX8, and mammaglobin was the best panel for determining the most likely primary site of IMC. The best markers to identify urothelial IMC were uroplakin and CK20, whereas p63, high molecular weight cytokeratin, and thrombomodulin were less sensitive and specific. Lung IMC was uniformly TTF-1 positive. Breast IMC was ER positive, mammaglobin positive, and PAX8/WT-1 negative, while ovarian IMC was ER positive, mammaglobin negative, and PAX8/WT-1 positive. In the metastatic setting, or when IMC occurs without an associated in situ or conventional carcinoma component, staining for uroplakin, CK20, TTF-1, ER and WT-1, and/or PAX8, and mammaglobin is the best panel for accurately classifying the likely primary site of IMC.
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