Even though immunohistochemical comparisons of microcystic adnexal carcinoma vs infiltrative basal cell carcinoma and desmoplastic trichoepithelioma exist, they are mostly restricted to the use of a single stain. In addition, a comparison with squamous cell carcinoma has not been reported previously. In this study, we compare the expression of cytokeratin (CK) 15, CK7, CK20, CK903, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), CD10, CD15 and BerEP4 in 13 microcystic adnexal carcinoma, eight desmoplastic trichoepithelioma, 10 infiltrative basal cell carcinoma, and eight squamous cell carcinoma of which five exhibited ductal differentiation. We found that the majority of microcystic adnexal carcinoma (92%) and desmoplastic trichoepithelioma (100%) cases expressed CK15 while the infiltrative basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma cases were all negative. Forty percent of infiltrative basal cell carcinoma expressed CK7; while only two microcystic adnexal carcinoma cases (15%) and one squamous cell carcinoma with ductal differentiation (12%) expressed CK7 in the remaining three tumor categories. None of the desmoplastic trichoepithelioma expressed CK7. All tumors were strongly positive for CK903. While the neoplastic cells were negative, luminal staining of ductal structures was noted for CK7, CD15 and CEA in some of the microcystic adnexal carcinoma, desmoplastic trichoepithelioma and squamous cell carcinoma with ductal differentiation cases. Sixty percent of infiltrative basal cell carcinoma, 31% of microcystic adnexal carcinoma, and 25% of squamous cell carcinoma express CD10. BerEP4 expression was noted in 38% of microcystic adnexal carcinoma, 57% of desmoplastic trichoepithelioma, 100% of infiltrative basal cell carcinoma, and 38% of squamous cell carcinoma. In conclusion, we found CK15 to be a useful marker in distinguishing microcystic adnexal carcinoma from infiltrative basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma with ductal differentiation. Our experience indicates that microcystic adnexal carcinoma and desmoplastic trichoepithelioma have a similar immunohistochemical profile that is, CK15+ and BerEP4+/-; thus, additional studies are needed to separate these two entities.
- Cytokeratin 15
- Desmoplastic trichoepithelioma
- Infiltrative basal cell carcinoma
- Microcystic adnexal carcinoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma with ductal differentiation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine