Applications of Lectin Histochemistry and Cytochemistry in Diagnosis and Prognosis

  • Timothy Richard Helliwell
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine™ book series (MIMM, volume 9)


The purpose of diagnostic histopathology and cytology is to categorize a disease process and predict how that disease will affect the patient. Pathologists are now combining careful morphological evaluation of the structure of the cell nucleus and cytoplasm with immunohistochemical and lectin histochemical studies to explore the molecular pathophysiology of diseased tissues and provide additional information to determine treatment and prognosis Many of the antibodies used in diagnostic tumor pathology recognize epitopes that include carbohydrate sequences, e.g., α-fetoprotein, carcinoembryonic antigen, CA125, which may also be identified by lectins Cancer-associated oligosaccharides are often oncodevelopmental in nature and reflect changes seen during normal development (1,2). Where as immunohistochemical studies often provide diagnostic information, previous reviews suggest that lectin histochemical data are rarely pathognomonic (3,4). This chapter will summarize more recent data, providing references to recent papers or review articles as an entry to the extensive literature. The lectins quoted, their abbreviations, and nominal specificities are shown in Table 1.


Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Lectin Binding Lectin Histochemistry Endogenous Lectin Lectin Binding Pattern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Humana Press Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Richard Helliwell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of LiverpoolUK

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