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Distribution of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM/CD56) in GISTs and their intra-abdominal mesenchymal mimics
  1. Abbas Agaimy (abbas.agaimy{at}
  1. Institute of Pathology, Nuremberg Clinic Center, Germany
    1. Peter H. Wünsch (wuensch{at}
    1. IInstitute of Pathology, Nuremberg Clinic Center, Germany


      Background: To our knowledge, the distribution and reactivity pattern of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM/CD56) in GI stromal tumours (GIST) and their mesenchymal mimics have not been investigated in the KIT era. Methods: We analysed a total of 275 histologically and immunohistochemically well characterised primary and metastatic intra-abdominal mesenchymal lesions by conventional Immunohistochemistry, with emphasis on GIST and GI smooth muscle neoplasms. Results: CD56 expression was seen in 18/21 (86%), 4/5 (80%), 26/34 (76%), and 32/168 (19%) of primary GI leiomyomas, schwannomas, leiomyosarcomas, and GISTs, respectively. Reactivity in GISTs was mostly focal. Of 6% strongly staining GISTs, 71% were either malignant clinically or assigned a high risk prognostic group. CD56 expression in GISTs varied greatly with histologic type (seen in 50%, and 7% of epithelioid and spindled GISTs, respectively) and anatomic site (in 33%, 10%, 1%, and 0% of rectal, gastric, small intestinal and oesophageal GISTs, respectively). A variable, but inconsistent expression was seen in miscellaneous lesions including dedifferentiated liposarcoma, abdominopelvic PEComas, myo/fibroblastic sarcoma and "MFH". Mesenteric fibromatoses, angiosarcoma/Kaposi sarcoma, reactive tumefactive fibrogenic lesions and 12 of 13 primary anorectal and oesophageal melanomas were negative. Conclusion: Our results confirmed the ubiquity and non-specificity of CD56 as a neurogenic marker. Except for a subset of epithelioid gastric and high-grade rectal lesions, CD56 expression is rare in GISTs, contrasting with leiomyomatous and neurogenic neoplasms. CD56 plays a limited role in the differential diagnosis of GIST. Its potential role as a marker of adverse outcome in GISTs remains to be further investigated.

      • CD56
      • GIST
      • Leiomyoma
      • NCAM
      • leiomyosarcoma

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