Expression of cytokeratin subtypes in intraepidermal malignancies: a guide for differentiation

J Cutan Pathol. 2006 Aug;33(8):531-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0560.2006.00466.x.


Background: Among intraepidermal malignancies of epithelial origin, Bowen's disease, bowenoid actinic keratosis (BAK), intraepidermal malignant eccrine poroma (MEP), and Paget's disease may pose diagnostic difficulties.

Methods: Histologic features and immunohistochemical profiles of 24 cases of Bowen's disease, 21 cases of BAK, 18 cases of intraepidermal MEP, and 11 cases of Paget's disease were analyzed.

Results: Using multivariate logistic regression test, multinuclear giant cells and solar degeneration were found to be the only histologic parameters of diagnostic help. On the other hand, a widespread positive reaction for CK 5/8, CK 7, CK 19, and negative reaction for CK 10, was a helpful feature in the differentiation of Paget's disease from Bowen's disease and BAK. The widespread and strong expression of CK 10 was seen in almost all cases of Bowen's disease in contrast to BAK. The widespread expression of CK 5/8 and CK 7, and negative reaction for CK 10, was in favor of Paget's disease, compared to intraepidermal MEP. On the other hand, widespread expression of CK 19 was a common finding in intraepidermal MEP, in contrast to Bowen's disease.

Conclusion: An immunohistochemical panel may provide significant hints on the differentiation of common intraepidermal malignancies, especially in problematic cases.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bowen's Disease / chemistry
  • Bowen's Disease / diagnosis
  • Bowen's Disease / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Keratins / analysis*
  • Keratosis / diagnosis
  • Keratosis / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / chemistry
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology*
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / chemistry
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / diagnosis
  • Paget Disease, Extramammary / pathology
  • Paget's Disease, Mammary / chemistry
  • Paget's Disease, Mammary / diagnosis
  • Paget's Disease, Mammary / pathology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Sweat Gland Neoplasms / pathology


  • Keratins