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Peroperative frozen section analysis of TTF-1 antigen expression
  1. S Camilleri-Broet,
  2. M Alifano,
  3. M Morcos,
  4. E Comperat,
  5. P Magdeleinat,
  6. B Marmey,
  7. T J Molina,
  8. J-F Régnard,
  9. J Audouin
  1. Service d’Anatomie Pathologique et Unité de Chirurgie Thoracique, Hotel-Dieu, 1, Place Du Parvis Notre Dame, Cedex 75181, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S P Camilleri-Broet
 Service d’Anatomie Pathologique, Hotel-Dieu, 1, Place Du Parvis Notre Dame, Cedex 75181, Paris, France;


Background: The assessment of thyroid transcription factor 1 (TTF-1) expression is a useful way to investigate the origin of lung adenocarcinomas or large cell carcinomas when dealing with a solitary lung nodule in a patient with a history of extrathoracic cancer. However, if immunohistological analysis has not been performed before surgery, a peroperative frozen section may be insufficient to distinguish between a primary pulmonary tumour and a metastatic tumour.

Aims: To develop a technique for the rapid assessment of TTF-1 expression that could improve the ability of frozen section peroperative histological diagnosis to answer such questions.

Methods: A rapid immunohistochemical technique (lasting 30 minutes) to assess the expression of TTF-1 was developed and tested.

Results: Among the 45 interpretable cases, results of frozen section immunohistochemistry were similar to those found by the standard immunohistochemical technique for the expression of TTF-1.

Conclusions: This technique enables TTF-1 to be analysed peroperatively, but further prospective studies are needed to assess its usefulness in routine practice.

  • thyroid transcription factor 1
  • frozen section
  • immunohistochemistry
  • lung metastasis
  • SABC, streptavidin–biotin–peroxidase
  • TTF-1, thyroid transcription factor 1

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