Immunoreactivity for LN2 and LN3 distinguishes small cell carcinomas from non-small cell carcinomas in the lung

Zhong Xue Hua, Kathryn E. Tanaka, Henry D. Tazelaar, Jeffrey Myers, Glen S. Markowitz, Alain C. Borczuk

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5 Scopus citations


Immunoreactivity to LN2 and LN3, monoclonal antibodies that recognize components of the class II major histocompatibility complex, was assessed in 72 cases of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) (32 biopsy specimens, 40 resection specimens) and 64 cases of small cell carcinoma (56 biopsy specimens, 8 resections) of the lung. All cases were reviewed independently by three pathologists for histological classification. Only 1 of the 64 small cell carcinomas showed immunoreactivity for LN2, and none of the 64 cases showed reactivity for LN3. Among the non-small cell carcinomas, 25 of 48 cases were positive for LN2 and 43 of 71 were positive for LN3; the sensitivity was greater for adenocarcinoma (78.5%) than for squamous cell carcinoma (37%). A combined sensitivity of 64.7% was observed when the results of LN2 and LN3 were combined, and this sensitivity was not significantly diminished in the biopsy subset of cases (59.4%). Differentiation within histological subtypes of NSCLC (ie, well, moderate, or poorly differentiated) did not alter test sensitivity. In conclusion, LN2 and LN3, used alone or in combination, appear highly specific for non-small cell carcinoma and moderately sensitive in both biopsy and resection specimens; therefore, these antibodies may be diagnostically useful in distinguishing small cell from non-small cell carcinoma of the lung.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1446
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • HLA-DR
  • LN2
  • LN3
  • Lung carcinoma
  • Neuroendocrine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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