Immunohistochemical stains in extramammary Paget's disease

K. F. Helm, J. R. Goellner, M. S. Peters

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The histologic and immunohistochemical characteristics of 49 skin biopsy specimens from 49 patients with extramammary Paget's disease were studied. Patients with extramammary Paget's disease with and without underlying malignant disease were identified. Associated malignant lesions, present in 16 patients (33%), were transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (n = 8), adenocarcinoma underlying the skin (n = 3), adenocarcinoma of the anus (n = 1), adenocarcinoma of the vulva (n = 1), apocrine carcinoma (n = 1), prostate carcinoma (n = 1), and carcinoma metastatic to the lung (n = 1). The main histologic feature was the presence of Paget's cells, predominantly at the base of the epidermis. In 6% of the cases, well-defined nests of large Paget's cells mimicked melanocytic nests. Carcinoembryonic antigen and Cam 5.2 (a monoclonal antibody that stains 40-kDa, 45-kDa, and 52.5-kDa low molecular weight keratins) were localized to the Paget's cells in 42 of 45 (93%) and 29 of 41 cases (71%), respectively. Forty-four of 46 lesions (96%) were mucin positive, as determined by Hale's colloidal iron stain. Absence of staining for colloidal iron and carcinoembryonic antigen occurred somewhat more frequently in patients with underlying malignant disease than in patients without tumors (13% vs. 0% mucin negative and 13% vs. 3% carcinoembryonic antigen negative, respectively). Although immunohistochemical staining for low molecular weight keratin may be used to confirm the diagnosis of extramammary Paget's disease, Cam 5.2 is not as sensitive as the colloidal iron or carcinoembryonic antigen stain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-407
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Dermatopathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dermatology


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