AIMS--To evaluate antibodies directed against CD31 (JC70/A) and CD34 (QBEND/10 and anti-HPCA-1) more extensively in Kaposi sarcoma; to assess their value in routine diagnosis; and to compare them with the traditional endothelial cell markers Ulex europaeus agglutinin 1 (UEA-1) and factor VIII related antigen. METHODS--Twenty four cases of Kaposi sarcoma were studied retrospectively. All specimens had been fixed in formalin and embedded in paraffin wax. The antibodies were applied using the Streptavidin biotin technique in all cases except for UEA-1, for which an indirect two stage method was used involving peroxidase conjugated anti-ulex as the secondary antibody. RESULTS--Tumours were classified into those showing angiomatoid or lymphangiomatoid elements and spindle cell lesions. Universal labelling of all lesions and virtually all elements within lesions was seen with the anti-CD34 antibodies QBEND/10 and HPCA-1. Labelling of spindle cells was less consistent with JC70/A but both markers were superior to the traditional endothelial cell markers UEA-1 and factor VIII related antigen. CONCLUSIONS--These data confirm that Kaposi sarcoma is a tumour of endothelial cell origin. They shed further light on the histogenesis of this complex tumour and demonstrate that immunostaining for CD34 and CD31 can be used as an aid to diagnosis in routinely processed tissue.
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