Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Correlation of immunohistochemical mismatch repair protein status between colorectal carcinoma endoscopic biopsy and resection specimens
  1. Odharnaith O’Brien1,
  2. Éanna Ryan2,
  3. Ben Creavin2,
  4. Michael E Kelly2,
  5. Helen M Mohan2,
  6. Robert Geraghty1,
  7. Des C Winter2,
  8. Kieran Sheahan1
  1. 1 Department of Histopathology, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 Department of Surgery, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Odharnaith O’Brien, Department of Histopathology, St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, D04 Y8V0, Ireland; odharnaithobrien{at}


Background Microsatellite instability is reflective of a deficient mismatch repair system (dMMR), which may be due to either sporadic or germline mutations in the relevant mismatch repair (MMR) gene. MMR status is frequently determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) for mismatch repair proteins (MMRPs) on colorectal cancer (CRC) resection specimens. However, IHC testing performed on endoscopic biopsy may be as reliable as that performed on surgical resections.

Aim We aimed to evaluate the reliability of MMR IHC staining on preoperative CRC endoscopic biopsies compared with matched-surgical resection specimens.

Methods A retrospective search of our institution’s histopathology electronic database was performed. Patients with CRC who had MMR IHC performed on both their preoperative endoscopic biopsy and subsequent resection from January 2010 to January 2016 were included. Concordance of MMR staining between biopsy and resection specimens was assessed.

Results From 2000 to 2016, 53 patients had MMR IHC performed on both their preoperative colorectal endoscopic biopsy and resection specimens; 10 patients (18.87%) demonstrated loss of ≥1 MMRP on their initial endoscopic tumour biopsy. The remainder (81.13%) showed preservation of staining for all MMRPs. There was complete agreement in MMR IHC status between the preoperative endoscopic biopsies and corresponding resection specimens in all cases (κ=1.000, P<0.000) with a sensitivity of 100% (95% CI 69.15 to 100) and specificity of 100% (95% CI 91.78 to 100) for detection of dMMR.

Conclusion Endoscopic biopsies are a suitable source of tissue for MMR IHC analysis. This may provide a number of advantages to both patients and clinicians in the management of CRC.

  • immunohistochemistry
  • histopathology
  • molecular pathology
  • colorectal cancer

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • OO’B and ÉR contributed equally.

  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors OO’B and ER contributed equally to this work, structuring and drafting the manuscript. OO’B and RG collected data for the study. ER and BC performed statistical analysis. KS, DCW, BC, HMM and MEK provided critical revision of the manuscript. All authors reviewed the manuscript prior to submission.

  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The study protocol was reviewed and approved by St. Vincent’s University Hospital Research and Ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.