Secondary Prostatic Adenocarcinoma: A Cytopathological Study of 50 Cases

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Positive diagnosis of metastatic prostate adenocarcinoma (PAC) can be made by microscopic examination of the cytologic specimens and immunostaining for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and prostate acid phosphatase (PAP). Immunohistochemical markers have been known to display negative, weak, or focal staining in poorly differentiated PAC and in patients with prior hormonal and/or radiation therapy. The purpose of this study is to characterize the cytopathology of metastatic PAC as it has not been documented in large series. Fifty cases of metastatic PAC with cytological specimens consisting of 41 fine-needle aspiration biopsies (FNAB), 6 pleural fluid aspirates, and 3 catheterized urine samples were reviewed and correlated with the surgical specimens and the clinical charts. Immunostaining for PSA, PAP, cytokeratin AE1/3, cytokeratin 7 (CK7), cytokeratin 20 (CK20), vimentin, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) was done. Mean patient age was 77 ± 8 yr; serum PSA, 4.1 ± 2.3; and primary PAC Gleason score, 8.1 ± 1.5. Cytologically, the specimens consisted of cell clusters or cell sheets with overlapping uniform hyperchromatic nuclei with or without nucleoli. Twelve cases were not reactive to PSA and PAP and 44 cases displayed negative immunoreactivity to both CK7 and CK20. Carcinoid-like lesions and small cell carcinomas were seen in 4 cases and were misdiagnosed as nonprostatic origin based on the following features: negative immunoreactivity to PSA and PAP with or without positive reactivity to CEA, and different histopathological features when compared with the primary PAC. In addition to the frequency of high-grade PAC, awareness of the negative immunoreactivity to PSA and PAP, the discrepancy in the histopathological patterns between the primary and secondary tumors, especially the frequent neuroendocrine differentiation, are helpful features for the diagnosis of metastases of prostatic origin.

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