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Calretinin as a diagnostic adjunct for ameloblastoma.

Background. Calretinin is a 29 kDa calcium-binding protein of the EF-hand family which is expressed in a variety of normal and tumorigenic tissues. Its expression in odontogenic epithelium during odontogenesis and in neoplastic odontogenic tissues has been demonstrated. Unicystic ameloblastoma poses a diagnostic challenge, as its histologic presentation can be sometimes mistaken for keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT). This study was performed to assess the usefulness of calretinin as a confirmatory marker for ameloblastic tissue. Methodology. Total of 40 cases: 16 unicystic ameloblastoma, 4 multicystic ameloblastoma, and 20 KCOT, were evaluated immunohistochemically for the presence, localization, distribution, and intensity of calretinin expression. Statistical analysis was done using Chi-square test to intercompare the expression between ameloblastoma and KCOT. Results. Sixteen cases of ameloblastoma (12 unicystic, 4 multicystic) showed positive calretinin staining of ameloblastic epithelium and only one case of KCOT was positive for calretinin, with the positivity restricted to the stellate reticulum like epithelium. Intercomparison between two groups revealed statistically significant difference (P = 0.000). Conclusion. Calretinin appears to be a specific immunohistochemical marker for neoplastic ameloblastic epithelium and may be an important diagnostic adjunct in the differential diagnosis of ameloblastoma and KCOT.

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