Veterinary Record 158:626-630 doi:10.1136/vr.158.18.626

Detection of lymph node micrometastases in malignant mammary tumours in dogs by cytokeratin immunostaining

  1. F. Gärtner, PhD3
  1. 1Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas de Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Largo Professor Abel Salazar, 2, 4099-003 Porto, Portugal
  2. 2Clinic of Companion Animals, Utrecht University, PO Box 80125, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto, Rua Dr Roberts Frias s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gärtner


A series of 131 local and regional lymph nodes from 40 dogs with malignant mammary tumours were evaluated by staining with haematoxylin and eosin and immunohistochemically for antibodies to pancytokeratin (AE1/AE3) and cytokeratin 14. The immunohistochemical tests detected occult micrometastases in 9·2 per cent of the lymph nodes that were negative by haematoxylin and eosin staining. Under the modified TNM classification of canine mammary tumours, these results raised the clinical stage of 12·5 per cent of the affected dogs. However, if the latest TNM classification of human breast cancer had been applied, none of the animals would have been reclassified.

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