Argyrophilia in breast carcinomas is of uncertain significance. We tested a series of 20 cases of Grimelius-positive carcinomas with immunocytochemical markers of endocrine or exocrine differentiation. Fifty per cent of these tumors were positive, in a variable percentage of the neoplastic cells, with monoclonal antibodies against chromogranin, a specific marker of neuroendocrine differentiation. All cases were positive for neuron-specific enolase, but the significance and specificity of the reaction remain doubtful. The apparent positivity for alpha-lactalbumin, as found also by Clayton and coworkers (8), was found to be related to a contaminant, which is in fact also an endocrine marker. As with other types of breast carcinoma, all our cases were positive for epithelial membrane antigen, evidence that argyrophilic breast carcinomas, and specifically the chromogranin-positive subgroup, should be interpreted as endocrine neoplasms displaying multidirectional differentiation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine