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Keywords:

  • prostate-specific membrane antigen;
  • prostate-specific antigen;
  • carcinoma;
  • cytology;
  • immunohistochemistry

The diagnosis of metastatic prostate carcinoma frequently requires the use of immunohistochemical adjuncts. Immunohistochemistry for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is commonly used for this purpose but can be of limited utility. Recently, prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) has been shown to be a promising marker for the identification of metastatic prostate carcinoma in surgical specimens. The utility of this marker has yet to be reported for cytology specimens. We sought to compare the sensitivities of PSMA and PSA immunohistochemistry and investigate the specificity of PSMA by utilizing cell block preparations from cytologic cases of metastatic prostate carcinoma (n = 19) and carcinomas of nonprostatic origin (n = 33). The sensitivity of PSMA immunohistochemistry was higher (16/19; 84%) in detecting metastatic prostate carcinomas than that of PSA immunohistochemistry (11/19; 58%). Strong, diffuse staining for PSMA was seen in 13 (81%) of 16 PSMA-positive cases whereas strong, diffuse staining for PSA was observed in six (55%) of 11 PSA-positive cases. Positivity for either PSMA or PSA was seen in 17 of 19 cases of metastatic prostate carcinoma for a combined sensitivity of 89%. PSMA immunohistochemistry was completely negative in 32 of 33 cytology cases of nonprostatic carcinomas. Therefore, the specificity of this marker was 97% in this study. In conclusion, our results indicate that PSMA is a highly sensitive and specific immunomarker for the detection of metastatic prostate carcinoma in cytology specimens. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2014;42:570–575. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.