Analysis of Tumor Depth Invasion With Anti-Smoothelin Antibody in Equivocal Transurethral Resection of Urinary Bladder Tumor Surgical Specimens

Bladder Cancer

Int J Surg Pathol. 2020 Oct 22:1066896920967762. doi: 10.1177/1066896920967762. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: To examine the expression and value of the smoothelin marker in control cases, to standardize the working method, and to analyze its application in pathologic staging process of problematic transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) cases.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining was performed on tumor-free bladder wall sections, tumor-free large bowel sections, TURBTs with unequivocal tumor stage, and TURBTs with equivocal stage. The IHC staining of muscularis mucosa (MM), muscularis propria (MP), and blood vessels was evaluated semiquantitatively.

RESULTS: Smoothelin IHC staining pattern ranged from negative (30% to 67% cases) to 2+ (0% to 15% cases) in MM and from 1+ (10% to 50% cases) to 3+ (9% to 48% cases) in MP. When compared on the same slide, the smoothelin expression of MP showed a stronger staining intensity than the one of the MM in all the analyzed cases. Blood vessel muscle cells stained in a constant intensity as the MM (r = 0.9808; r = 0.9604). Smoothelin determined restaging of 33% of the problematic TURBT cases.

CONCLUSION: Smoothelin is an IHC marker that shows differential staining between coexistent MM and MP; however, variations in staining intensity and pattern may occur, aspects that can be influenced by different technique variables. We recommend using this marker as a diagnostic tool in problematic TURBT cases only when there is sufficient experience in control cases with this antibody.