Diagnostic p53 immunostaining of endobiliary brush cytology: Preoperative cytology compared with the surgical specimen

Metin Tascilar, Patrick D J Sturm, Eric Caspers, Miriam Smit, Mirjam M. Polak, Kees Huibregtse, L. Arnold Noorduyn, G. Johan A Offerhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Endobiliary brush cytology is important in the distinction of malignant and benign causes of extrahepatic bile duct obstruction. The additional diagnostic value of p53 immunostaining on these cytology specimens was assessed. METHODS: All patients with extrahepatic bile duct obstruction who underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) with endobiliary brush cytology and subsequent surgery at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam during a 3-year period were studied, p53 Immunocytology was compared with the corresponding conventional light microscopic cytology and p53 immunostaining of the subsequent surgical specimen. RESULTS: Fifty- three patients with the following diagnoses were included: pancreatic carcinoma (23), bile duct carcinoma (15), ampullary carcinoma (5), lymph node metastases (2), carcinoma of unknown origin (4), chronic pancreatitis (3), and primary sclerosing cholangitis (1). Fifty-one percent of the carcinomas showed positive p53 immunostaining; all four surgical specimens without carcinoma were negative. The sensitivities of conventional light microscopic cytology, p53 immunocytology, and both tests combined were 29%, 24%, and 43%, respectively. These sensitivities were higher in cases of bile duct carcinoma (46%, 40%, and 66%) compared with cases of pancreatic carcinoma (13%, 9%, and 22%). Specificities of both tests were 100%. CONCLUSIONS: p53 Immunostaining on endobiliary brush cytology may be helpful in the diagnosis of malignant extrahepatic bile duct stenosis, especially in patients with bile duct carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 25 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bile duct carcinoma
  • Bile duct stenosis
  • Brush cytology
  • ERCP
  • P53 immunocytochemistry
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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