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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Intratubular germ cell neoplasia of the testis: identification by placental alkaline phosphatase immunostaining and argyrophilic nucleolar organizer region quantification.

We assessed the value of placental alkaline phosphatase (PLAP) immunostaining and argyrophilic nucleolar organizer region (AgNOR) quantification as techniques for the identification of intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN), and compared them with hematoxylin-eosin and periodic acid-Schiff staining. We examined 46 malignant testicular germ cell tumors for the presence of ITGCN; 43 had sufficient tubules available for assessment. We also examined 16 cryptorchid testes, 16 testicular biopsies from 10 subfertile men, and 12 normal adult intrascrotal testes. In tubules adjacent to invasive tumors, hematoxylin-eosin staining identified 30 cases (70%) of ITGCN, while PLAP and AgNOR staining identified 36 cases (84%). All the seminomas (18) and 22 of 28 nonseminomatous germ cell tumors were PLAP-positive and had high AgNOR counts. Intratubular germ cell neoplasia was not identified in the other groups examined; germ cells in these groups were PLAP-negative and had low AgNOR counts. Cells of ITGCN showed cytoplasmic block positivity with periodic acid-Schiff staining but this was not a consistent finding. We conclude that ITGCN is present adjacent to most invasive germ cell tumors, and is reliably identified by hematoxylin-eosin staining when fully developed. Periodic acid-Schiff staining was not helpful as normal spermatogonia were also positive. Staining with PLAP and AgNOR were useful diagnostic adjuncts, but results with PLAP were easier to interpret.[1]


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