The combination of CEA, EMA, and BerEp4 and hyaluronan analysis specifically identifies 79% of all histologically verified mesotheliomas causing an effusion

Diagn Cytopathol. 2005 Mar;32(3):160-6. doi: 10.1002/dc.20202.


A previously tested antibody panel identified three criteria of major importance for distinguishing between mesothelioma and adenocarcinoma (ACA): carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), BerEp4, and epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) accentuated at the cell membrane. An extended panel, consisting of CEA, BerEp4, EMA, vimentin, mesothelioma antibody (HBME-1), thrombomodulin, Ca125, and sialyl-Tn was applied to effusions from 86 ACAs and 21 mesotheliomas. The specificities and sensitivities of the previously identified reactivity patterns were tested on the new material and the effect of the added antibodies was evaluated. Further, hyaluronan analysis was added as a parameter. The previously selected criteria remained fully predictive for mesothelioma and ACA, respectively, also in the extended material (in all, 139 ACAs and 57 mesotheliomas). With the addition of the hyaluronan value, 79% of the cases was identified with 100% specificity. Among the new antibodies sialyl-Tn seemed the most promising because it specifically identified ACAs not expressing CEA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / metabolism
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mesothelioma / diagnosis*
  • Mesothelioma / metabolism
  • Mesothelioma / pathology
  • Mucin-1 / metabolism
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / metabolism
  • Pleural Effusion, Malignant / pathology*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pleural Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Pleural Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vimentin / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Mucin-1
  • Vimentin
  • human epithelial antigen-125
  • Hyaluronic Acid