Molecular Cytology of Serous Effusions

  • Ben DavidsonEmail author


Serous effusions are commonly encountered cytology specimens and are often submitted with the clinical suspicion of malignancy. The myriad cancers affecting this anatomic site may present a challenge in terms of differential diagnosis. Once recognized, the presence of metastasis within the serosal cavities, most often from carcinomas of the lung, breast, genital tract, or gastrointestinal tract, carries grave clinical implications, as disease at this anatomic site cannot be surgically removed. Therapeutic strategies must therefore include alternative approaches. In recent years, targeted therapy has assumed an increasing role in the management of metastatic cancer, including that of tumors affecting the serosal cavities. Additionally, high-throughput methodology has improved our understanding of the biology and disease progression of specific cancers at this anatomic site. This chapter discusses the molecular tests that have in recent years been applied to effusions and bear on specimen diagnosis and patient management.


Serous effusions Metastasis Adenocarcinoma Mesothelioma Polymerase chain reaction In situ hybridization Next-generation sequencing 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyOslo University Hospital, Norwegian Radium HospitalOsloNorway
  2. 2.University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical MedicineOsloNorway

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