Relation between natural killer cells and neoplastic cells in serous fluids

Javier A. Laurini, Alejandro Garcia, Boris Elsner, Marta Bellotti, Carla Rescia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Natural killer (NK) cells are capable of lysing certain tumor cells in vitro. We investigated whether the percentage of NK cells (NK%) in serous effusions has any relation with the presence of malignant cells. Fresh effusions were routinely processed, and a portion of them was submitted for lymphocyte immunophenotyping, using a flow cytometer. Fifty-one fluids (15 peritoneal, 36 pleural), from 47 patients were analyzed. Thirty-two cases were negative and 19 were positive for neoplastic cells: there were 13 adenocarcinomas, 2 malignant mesotheliomas (MM), 3 malignant lymphomas (ML), and 1 rhabdomyosarcoma (R). Negative cases showed an average NK% of 5.09% (1- 16%). Effusions positive for adenocarcinoma had an average NK% of 22.08% (12- 33%) (P < 0.001). MM, ML, and R had a low NK%, with an average of 3.01% (0- 5%). Investigation of the NK% could be useful in cytologically doubtful cases and in the differential diagnosis between MM and adenocarcinoma. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-350
Number of pages4
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Effusions
  • Flow cytometry
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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