The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic utility of lectin microarrays in pleural effusions of patients with lung cancer. A lectin microarray, LTL, PSA, LCA, UEA-1, AAL, MAL-I, MAL-II, SNA, WGA, ECL, DSA, STL, SWGA, HPA, ConA, GNA, HHL, BPL, EEL, Jacalin, WFA, ACL, MPL, DBA, SBA, was used to determine the glycoprotein profile of cells in pleural effusions from patients with lung cancer (54 cases), and with benign lung disease (54 cases). The A549 cell line, used as an experimental control, was positive for AAL, MAL-I, WGA, STL, Jacalin and ACL binding. Adenocarcinoma cells in pleural effusions were positive for ECL, DSA, AAL, MAL-I, WGA, STL, Jacalin, and ACL binding. AAL, WGA, and ACL positive binding was the most common, found in 54, 48, and 38 samples, respectively. ECL and DSA binding was positive in only 4 samples. In comparison, reactive mesothelial cells displayed positive binding for all markers in the microarray panel. SNA and AAL positive binding was detected in the majority of samples; 50/54 and 48/54 samples, respectively. Positive binding of DBA, MAL-II and EEL was present in only 2, 4 and 4 samples, respectively. SNA binding had the highest sensitivity (92.6 %), specificity (100 %), and accuracy (96.3 %). SNA may be used as a biomarker to distinguish reactive mesothelial cells from adenocarcinoma cells. The lectin microarrays proved able to distinguish carcinoma cells from reactive mesothelial cells in pleural effusions.
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