AIMS: To determine whether acidic mucin staining, lectin histochemistry using Wisteria floribunda agglutinin, and immunohistochemistry using the monoclonal antibody EAB 903 are of benefit in distinguishing between hyperplastic and carcinomatous prostatic glandular tissue in needle biopsy specimens. METHODS: Formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded prostatic needle biopsy specimens of benign and malignant tissue were examined. Alcian blue-periodic acid Schiff staining was performed on 33 benign and 34 malignant cases. Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA) binding sites were demonstrated by the avidin-biotin peroxidase (ABC) technique with and without neuraminidase pretreatment on 34 benign cases and 32 malignant cases. EAB903 anticytokeratin antibody binding sites were demonstrated using both an indirect immunoperoxidase (IIP) technique and an avidin-biotin peroxidase complex method on seven benign and 31 malignant cases. RESULTS: Acidic mucin staining was found in 17 of 34 malignant glands and was weakly positive in five of 33 benign glands. WFA positivity before neuraminidase pretreatment was present in 29 of 32 malignant glands and in 19 of 34 benign glands. After neuraminidase all benign and malignant cases showed positivity. EAB 903 positivity was seen in 11 of 31 malignant glands using the IIP technique and in two of 31 malignant glands using the ABC technique. In seven benign cases there was positivity in all glands using the IIP method with predominant basal cell staining in three and superficial cell staining in four. In benign cases using the ABC method two cases were negative. CONCLUSIONS: None of the three methods studied showed sufficient sensitivity and specificity to allow their recommendation for routine diagnostic use.
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