Morphological types and mucin protein expressions classify intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs). Main duct (MD)-IPMN mostly consists of intestinal type (I-type), which expresses MUC2. Branch duct (BD)-IPMN mostly consists of gastric type (G-type), which does not express MUC2. However, the definition of mixed-type IPMN has yet to be clarified and it contains various histological types. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between MUC2 expression and the presence of high-grade dysplasia (HGD) and invasive carcinoma, especially in mixed-type IPMN.
This retrospective study included 101 consecutive patients with surgically resected IPMNs between April 2001 and October 2012. All patients were morphologically classified into four distinct types (I-type, G-type, PB-type: pancreatobilliary, O-type: oncocytic) and immunohistochemical reactivity of various anti-mucin antibodies were investigated.
According to the classification of the 2012 international guidelines, the numbers (and histomorphological types: I/G/PB/O) of MD, mixed-type, and BD-IPMNs were 16 (12/4/0/0), 45 (16/28/1/0), and 40 (0/38/1/1). Prevalence of MUC2 expression in MD, mixed-type, and BD-IPMNs were 75% (12/16), 36% (16/45), and 0% (0/40). In mixed-type IPMN, the prevalence of HGD and/or invasive carcinoma in MUC2-positive IPMN was significantly higher than that of MUC2-negative IPMN (HGD + invasive carcinoma: 88% vs. 38%, p = 0.0017; invasive carcinoma: 50% vs. 21%, p = 0.042). Multivariate analysis showed that MUC2 expression is an independent predictive factor of HGD and invasive carcinoma in mixed IPMN (odds ratio 14.6, 95% CI 2.5-87.4, p = 0.003).
In mixed-type IPMN, MUC2 expression clearly identified HGD and invasive carcinoma and may provide most appropriate surgical indication.