Elastin in pulmonary pathology: relevance in tumours with a lepidic or papillary appearance. A comprehensive understanding from a morphological viewpoint

Erik Thunnissen, Noriko Motoi, Yuko Minami, Daisuke Matsubara, Wim Timens, Yukio Nakatani, Yuichi Ishikawa, Ximena Baez-Navarro, Teodora Radonic, Hans Blaauwgeers, Alain C. Borczuk, Masayuki Noguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Elastin and collagen are the main components of the lung connective tissue network, and together provide the lung with elasticity and tensile strength. In pulmonary pathology, elastin staining is used to variable extents in different countries. These uses include evaluation of the pleura in staging, and the distinction of invasion from collapse of alveoli after surgery (iatrogenic collapse). In the latter, elastin staining is used to highlight distorted but pre-existing alveolar architecture from true invasion. In addition to variable levels of use and experience, the interpretation of elastin staining in some adenocarcinomas leads to interpretative differences between collapsed lepidic patterns and true papillary patterns. This review aims to summarise the existing data on the use of elastin staining in pulmonary pathology, on the basis of literature data and morphological characteristics. The effect of iatrogenic collapse and the interpretation of elastin staining in pulmonary adenocarcinomas is discussed in detail, especially for the distinction between lepidic patterns and papillary carcinoma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • diagnosis
  • elastin
  • lung
  • pathology
  • review

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