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Validation of tissue microarray technology in malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours
  1. K Soares Gonçalves Cunha1,2,3,
  2. A Cunha Caruso4,
  3. A Soares Gonçalves1,
  4. V Gonçalves Bernardo1,
  5. A Rodrigues Cordovil Pires1,
  6. E Carvalho da Fonseca1,
  7. P Antônio Silvestre de Faria4,
  8. L Esmeraldo da Silva1,
  9. M Geller3,5,6,
  10. R Soares de Moura-Neto7,
  11. V Silami Lopes1
  1. 1
    Postgraduate Program of Pathology, School of Medicine, Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  2. 2
    School of Dentistry, Nova Friburgo University Pole, Fluminense Federal, University (UFF), Nova Friburgo, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  3. 3
    Postgraduate Program of Medicine, Carlos Chagas Institute, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  4. 4
    Pathology Division, National Institute of Cancer (INCA), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  5. 5
    Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Teresópolis Medical School (UNIFESO), Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  6. 6
    Department of Clinical Genetics, Martagão Gesteira Institute of Puericulture and Pediatrics, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  7. 7
    Department of Genetics, Biology Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  1. Dr K Soares Gonçalves Cunha, Rua Marquês do Paraná, 303 - 4° andar - sala 1 - Centro, Niterói, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 24033-900; karingoncalves{at}


Background: It has been suggested that the donor tissue cores used in tissue microarrays (TMAs) may not be representative of the whole tissue section.

Aim: To validate the use of TMA technology in the study of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumours (MPNSTs).

Methods: A TMA was constructed containing five independent core biopsy samples of 14 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded MPNSTs. The immunohistochemical (IHC) results of the five cores from the same tissue block on TMA were compared with readings from whole sections using two antibodies: anti-Ki-67 and anti-S-100. Digital image analysis was performed to calculate the percentage of positive stain areas. The agreement between IHC results obtained with TMA cores and whole sections was assessed using the κ statistic.

Results: There was good to very good agreement between IHC results for whole and TMA sections from MPNSTs. In relation to S-100, very good agreement (92% agreement; κ = 0.77) was observed using a minimum of four TMA cores. Staining results for Ki-67 from at least four readable TMA cores were the same as those for the whole section in 86% of cases, with good agreement, using weighted κ statistics (κ = 0.63).

Conclusions: This study indicates that the TMA technique can be used in the IHC study of MPNSTs, even with the use of heterogeneous markers such as S-100 protein.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Obtained.