An immunocytochemical battery comprising 9 antibodies specifically distinguishes 80% of the epithelial malignant mesotheliomas from adenocarcinomas. The discriminatory power of antibodies to calretinin was tested together with this battery to determine whether the performance thereby could be improved. The study comprises 119 mesotheliomas of epithelial or mixed phenotype and 57 adenocarcinoma metastases in the pleural cavity. The differences between the 2 groups were highly significant for all recorded parameters, but typical reactivity for all parameters was seen in only 6 (5.0%) of the 119 mesotheliomas. An algorithm based on stepwise logistic regression was used to interpret divergent reaction patterns. Most diagnostic information was obtained with 8 of the parameters studied. The resulting algorithm identified almost 90% of the mesotheliomas with high specificity. The battery can be performed in 2 steps: several adenocarcinomas first are diagnosed with a few antibodies, applying the rest of the battery on the remaining unresolved cases.