Diagnostic utility of GLUT-1 expression in the cytologic evaluation of serous fluids

Alaa M Afify, Heidi Zhou, Lydia P Howell, Augusto F G Paulino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the extent to which adenocarcinomas in body cavity fluids express GLUT-1 in comparison to currently available markers for adenocarcinomas. Study Design: Archival paraffin-embedded cell blocks of serous fluids from 25 cases of benign effusions containing reactive mesothelial cells and 39 cases of malignant effusions with metastatic adenocamnoma (11 ovarian, 11 pulmonary, 9 gastrointestinal and 8 breast) were retrieved from the surgical pathology files. All cases were stained with antibodies for GLUT-1, Ber-Ep4, B72.3 and CEA. Positive staining was defined as distinct linear membrane staining for GLUT-1 and Ber-EP4, cytoplasmic staining for CEA, and cytoplasmic or membrane staining for B72.3. Strong staining in at least 10% of the tumor cells was required in order to consider the case positive for the particular marker. Results: GLUT-1 was expressed in 72% (28 of 39) of cases of malignant effusions: 100% (11 of 11) from the ovary, 91% (10 of 11) from the lung, 67% (6 of 9) from the gastrointestinal tract and 12% (1 of 8) from the breast. None (0 of 25) of the benign effusions expressed GLUT-1. Malignant effusions expressed CEA in 74% (29 of 39), Ber-Ep4 in 85% (33 of 39), and B72.3 in 62% (24 of 39). Benign effusions expressed CEA in 3 cases Conclusion: GLUT-1 is a useful marker that can be applied to cytologic specimens. It can be used as a reliable component of an antibody panel to distinguish reactive mesothelial cells from metastatic adenocarcinoma in body cavity effusions, in particular adenocarcinomas of ovarian and pulmonary origin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-626
Number of pages6
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2005


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Glucose transporter
  • GLUT-1
  • Mesothelial neoplasms
  • Serous fluid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


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