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Secretory carcinoma (SC) of the salivary gland is a rare distinct clinicopathological entity characterized by the presence of the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion. Although the characteristic cytological features of SC have been recognized, its cytodiagnosis, especially differentiating SC from acinic cell carcinoma, is challenging. Recent studies have revealed that immunohistochemistry for pan-tyrosine receptor kinase (Trk) and nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group member 3 (NR4A3) are specific for SC and acinic cell carcinoma, respectively. However, the usefulness of immunocytochemical detection of these markers in the diagnosis of SC has not been addressed. Hence, the present study aimed to analyze the usefulness of immunocytochemical staining for pan-Trk and NR4A3 in the cytodiagnosis of SC. We enrolled eight patients with a histopathological diagnosis of SC who underwent preoperative fine-needle aspiration cytological examination. The cytological characteristics were reviewed and immunocytochemical staining for pan-Trk and NR4A3 was performed. The characteristic cytological features noted in the patient cohort included neoplastic cell clusters with a sheet-like and papillary cluster arrangement as well as single cells. Additionally, neoplastic cells with mild to moderately enlarged nuclei and small nucleoli, multi-vacuolated cytoplasm, and intracytoplasmic mucin were also observed. The immunocytochemical analyses clearly demonstrated that all eight specimens showed positive nuclear staining for pan-Trk, but were negative for NR4A3 expression. Although all cases of SC do not always show positive immunoreactivity for pan-Trk, immunocytochemical analysis for pan-Trk may be useful for the cytodiagnosis of SC along with assessment of the characteristic cytological features. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


Hiroko Ito, Mitsuaki Ishida, Yusuke Ebisu, Kimiaki Okano, Kaori Sandoh, Yuri Noda, Chika Miyasaka, Takuo Fujisawa, Masao Yagi, Hiroshi Iwai, Koji Tsuta. Utility of an immunocytochemical analysis for pan-Trk in the cytodiagnosis of secretory carcinoma of the salivary gland. Diagnostic cytopathology. 2021 Aug;49(8):E329-E335

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PMID: 33885200

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