Vimentin and Cytokeratin Immunostaining: The Role in Basic Diagnosis and Prognosis of Sarcomas
Introduction: Specific diagnosis which provides diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic information to guide patient care defines the primary goal of sarcoma management and care. The role of immunohistochemistry, using vimentin (mesenchymal linage marker) and cytokeratin (epithelial linage marker) as basic markers for diagnosis and classification of sarcomas for specific management strategies and prognosis was elucidated in the present study.
Materials and Methods: Twenty four (24) archived paraffin wax processed tissue block sarcoma samples were randomly selected from the histopathology Laboratories and museums of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi and National hospital Abuja and necessary data obtained from records. Blocks were re-embedded with fresh paraffin wax and 3µ thick sections cut with the aid of a rotary microtome. Haematoxylin and Eosin staining method was employed to confirm diagnosis before proceeding to immunohistochemistry. Antibodies for vimentin and pancytokeratin were employed for immunohistochemistry while exposed mouse and rabbit specific horseradish peroxides/diaminobenzidine detection IHC kit was employed for immunostaining.
Results: The mean age of patients was 26 years while the ages range from 11 to 48 years with 14 (58.3%) females and 10 (41.7%) males. Vimentin had strong positive immunoreactivity for all sarcoma samples whereas cytokeratin had positive immunoreactions for synovial sarcoma only, which also showed co-expression of both genes.
Conclusion: Vimentin and cytokeratin may play vital role as basic biomarkers not only for diagnosis and characterization of sarcomas but for specific management regime and prognostication. However, IHC must be performed at high standard using appropriate antibodies, samples and reagents.
Keywords: Sarcoma, immunohistochemistry, vimentin, cytokeratin, biomarker.
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