Originally, expression of the CD30 antigen was shown to be typical of the tumour cells of Hodgkin's disease (HD) and of anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs). In reactive lymphoid tissue, CD30 is expressed only in a small population of activated lymphoid blasts. Since then, several reports have been published describing CD30 expression in non-lymphoid tissues and malignancies, such as embryonal carcinomas (ECs), seminomas, cultivated macrophages, two histiocytic neoplasms, decidual cells, and mesotheliomas. As CD30 detection is important in the differential diagnosis of HD and ALCL, the expression of CD30 in different non-lymphoid tissues was re-evaluated by immunohistology and in situ hybridization. Extra-lymphoid CD30 expression was found in 48/51 cases of EC or EC components of germ cell tumours, in decidual cells of 1/10 cases, in activated mesothelium in 16/28 pleural and peritoneal effusions, and in small foci of tumour cells in 2/8 mesotheliomas. CD30 expression was not confirmed in 27 germ cell tumours of the testis without an EC component nor in cultivated macrophages and 17 histiocytic malignancies. The knowledge of these CD30 expression patterns is important for the immunohistological differential diagnosis of anaplastic tumours. The absence of CD30 expression in reactive and neoplastic macrophages does not favour the concept that HD and ALCL are derived from these cells.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.