Prognostic Implication of Lymphovascular Invasion Detected by Double Immunostaining for D2-40 and MITF1 in Primary Cutaneous Melanoma

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Lymphovascular invasion (LVI) is associated with adverse outcomes in primary cutaneous melanoma (PCM). Detection of LVI by hematoxylin and eosin staining alone is 0%–6%, but targeting lymphovascular structures increases the detection rate.


To examine the prognostic significance of LVI detected by immunostaining for D2-40 and microphthalmia-associated transcription factor 1 (MITF1) in PCM.


The authors retrospectively analyzed 120 PCM samples. We compared the LVI detection rates of immunostaining for D2-40 only (22%), double staining for D2-40 and MITF1 (38%), and hematoxylin and eosin, and examined the association of LVI with clinicopathologic variables and clinical outcomes.


Immunolabeling with both methods significantly increased the LVI detection rate. Double staining for D2-40 and MITF1 as well as D2-40–detected LVI was significantly associated with increased Breslow thickness, number of mitoses, and sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastasis. D2-40–detected LVI was also associated with ulceration. Although the difference was not significant, double staining for D2-40 and MITF1 allowed for easier detection of LVI than D2-40 alone.


This study was conducted in a tertiary referral institution; therefore, a referral bias cannot be excluded.


Immunolabeling increased detection of LVI in PCM. Because LVI is a positive predictive marker for SLN metastasis, the authors propose using anti-D2-40 and anti-MITF1 in the evaluation of LVI in patients with PCM with a certain risk of SLN metastasis.

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