Aims: To study the immunoexpression of cyclo-oxygenase (COX) 2 in osteoblastomas (OBs) and osteosarcomas (OSs), and to assess the utility of immunohistochemical analysis for COX 2 in the differential diagnosis of the two tumour forms.
Methods: The immunohistochemical features of COX 2 were studied in 11 OBs and 30 OSs, including 26 high-grade OSs (16 osteoblastic, 7 chondroblastic, and 3 fibroblastic) and 4 low-grade OSs.
Results: Tumour cells from all 11 OBs unequivocally showed diffuse, intense and cytoplasmic immunoreactivity for COX 2. Strong cytoplasmic expression of COX 2 was observed in 5 of 26 (19%) high-grade OSs, all chondroblastic. In one osteoblastic-type OS, COX 2 was expressed in the chondroblastic component, but this tumour was considered to be COX 2 negative. No COX 2 expression was noted in atypical osteoblastic cells. Staining in the four low-grade OSs was negative.
Conclusion: The results of immunohistochemical analysis of COX 2 suggest that in addition to the routine histopathological evaluation, COX 2 is a valuable diagnostic marker in the distinction between OB and OS.
- COX, cyclo-oxygenase
- OB, osteoblastomas
- OS, osteosarcomas
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Published Online First 5 July 2006
Competing interests: None declared.