The pathological features of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia-associated pulmonary adenocarcinomas

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To investigate the pathological features of idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP)-associated pulmonary adenocarcinoma.

Methods and results:

Surgically resected adenocarcinomas associated with IIP (the IIP group) and adenocarcinomas without IIP (the non-IIP group) were subjected to analysis. Adenocarcinomas in the IIP group were subdivided into two groups: one group included tumours connected to bronchiolar metaplasia in honeycomb lesions (the H-IIP group), and the other included tumours unrelated to honeycomb lesions (the NH-IIP group). Histomorphological appearance and immunohistochemical expression were compared among the H-IIP group, the NH-IIP group, and the non-IIP group. Most of the tumour cells in the H-IIP group had a tall, columnar shape that showed similar features to proximal bronchial epithelium, whereas tumour cells in the NH-IIP group and the non-IIP group had a club-like shape that showed similar features to respiratory bronchiolar/alveolar epithelium. Adenocarcinomas in the H-IIP group tended to be negative for thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) and positive for hepatocyte nuclear factor-4α (HNF-4α). The frequency of EGFR mutations was significantly lower in adenocarcinomas in the H-IIP group, although the frequencies of KRAS and ALK mutations did not differ among the three groups.


Idiopathic interstitial pneumonia-associated pulmonary adenocarcinomas, especially those arising from honeycomb lesions, have distinct pathological features.

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