Cytokeratin 7 and cytokeratin 20 in primary urinary bladder carcinoma and matched lymph node metastasis

J. Jiang, T. M. Ulbright, C. Younger, K. Sanchez, D. G. Bostwick, M. O. Koch, J. N. Eble, L. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

57 Scopus citations


Background. Cytokeratin 7 (CK7) and cytokeratin 20 (CK20) are 2 types of intermediate filament protein. Expression of CK7 is seen in the majority of primary urinary bladder carcinomas. CK20 is restricted to superficial and occasional intermediate cells of the normal urothelium of the bladder. Aberrant CK20 expression has been documented in urothelial carcinoma and has proved useful as an ancillary diagnostic aid for urinary bladder tumor. Our hypothesis is that the pattern of CK7 and CK20 expression in metastatic urothelial carcinoma duplicates the expression of the same markers in the primary tumors. Therefore, immunohistochemical staining of metastatic tumors for these 2 markers may be helpful for differential diagnosis in ambiguous metastatic tumor deposits. Objective. To determine the concordance of CK7 and CK20 expression in primary bladder urothelial carcinoma and the matched lymph node metastasis. Design. We studied 26 patients with lymph node metastases who underwent radical cystectomy and bilateral lymphadenectomy for bladder carcinoma. Immunohistochemical staining for CK7 and CK20 was performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues containing primary cancers and lymph node metastases. Results. In all cases, there was a concordant expression of CK20 in the primary cancer and its matched lymph node metastasis. Twelve cases (46%) showed positive CK20 immunoreactivity in the primary tumor and its matched lymph node metastases, whereas 14 cases (54%) were negative for CK20 in both the primary tumor and lymph node metastasis. All cases showed positive CK7 immunoreactivity in the primary cancers and matched lymph node metastases. Conclusions. CK20 immunoreactivity is reliably observed in metastases from bladder cancer when the primary tumor expresses CK20.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)921-923
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 19 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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