Transbronchial Biopsy in Lymphangiomyomatosis of the Lung HMB45 for Diagnosis

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We have investigated the presence of smooth muscle cells with immunoreactivity for melanoma-related marker HMB45 in pulmonary lymphangiomyomatosis (PLAM). Of 75 lung specimens, including a variety of lesions (obtained with both transbronchial and open lung biopsies), only PLAM (six specimens from three patients) showed the presence of HMB45-positive cells. In addition, 20 specimens of normal lung were unreactive with this monoclonal antibody. It is concluded that the smooth muscle cells of PLAM regularly exhibit a peculiar phenotype, characterized by HMB45 immunoreactivity, distinct from other smooth muscle proliferations; and the histological diagnosis of PLAM can be made when only a transbronchial biopsy is available.

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