Transbronchial biopsy in lymphangiomyomatosis of the lung. HMB45 for diagnosis

Am J Surg Pathol. 1993 Nov;17(11):1092-102. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199311000-00002.


We have investigated the presence of smooth muscle cells with immunoreactivity for melanoma-related marker HMB45 in pulmonary lymphangiomyomatosis (PLAM). Of 75 lung specimens, including a variety of lesions (obtained with both transbronchial and open lung biopsies), only PLAM (six specimens from three patients) showed the presence of HMB45-positive cells. In addition, 20 specimens of normal lung were unreactive with this monoclonal antibody. It is concluded that the smooth muscle cells of PLAM regularly exhibit a peculiar phenotype, characterized by HMB45 immunoreactivity, distinct from other smooth muscle proliferations; and the histological diagnosis of PLAM can be made when only a transbronchial biopsy is available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biopsy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung / ultrastructure
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Lymphangioleiomyomatosis / pathology*
  • Microscopy, Electron


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal