Klinische Wochenschrift

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 114–123 | Cite as

Diagnostic value of intermediate filament antibodies in clinical cytology

  • M. Altmannsberger
  • M. Osborn
  • M. Droese
  • K. Weber
  • A. Schauer


Antibodies to intermediate filament (IF) proteins can distinguish the major tumor groups as shown by results with sectioned human material. In this study we evaluate the use of similar methods in the cytology of human tumors. Smears obtained from fine needle aspiration biopsies were investigated using well characterized antibodies, each specific for only one of the five types of intermediate filaments. Tumor cells of different carcinomas, thymomas, and the epithelial part of pulmonary blastomas were positive with antibodies recognizing cytokeratins. Tumor cells in non-muscle sarcomas, including lymphoma and Ewing's sarcoma, could be specifically identified with antibodies to vimentin. Tumor cells of muscle sarcomas were desmin-positive. Finally, tumor cells in pheochromocytoma and bronchus carcinoid were positive with antibodies specific for neurofilaments. Specimens were also examined in parallel using conventional cytochemical stains, such as May-Grünwald-Giemsa. In addition, in most cases sections of the tumor were examined both by histology and IF typing of frozen sections to confirm the diagnosis made on the cytologic specimens. The results show that IF typing is a valuable diagnostic aid in clinical cytology.

Key words

Cytology Imprints Human tumors Cytokeratin Vimentin 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Altmannsberger
    • 1
  • M. Osborn
    • 2
  • M. Droese
    • 1
  • K. Weber
    • 2
  • A. Schauer
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PathologyUniversity of GöttingenGöttingenFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Biophysical ChemistryGöttingenFederal Republic of Germany

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