Application of HER2 CISH pharmDX for DNA ploidy determination

Mai He, Terese Pasquariello, Margaret Steinhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Products of conception (POC) are encountered daily in general pathology practice. The molar workup is an important part of POC examination. Ploidy analysis, expressed as DNA index (DI), is part of the pathologic workup of molar pregnancy. For the past decade, chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) has become a popular way to detect HER2 gene amplification. Current study aims to determine whether HER2 CISH dual-color assay can be used to determine DI in POCs. Twenty-two POC cases were chosen from the departmental archives, including 6 complete hydatidiform mole (CM), 10 partial mole (PM), and 6 hydropic POC (HP). CISH assay was performed using the HER2 CISH PharmDx Kit (SK109; Dako). This kit generates red (HER2) and blue (CEN-17) chromogenic signals on the same tissue section. In the 10 triploid PM cases, CISH generated HER2 signal value of 2.925±0.19. Nine cases (90%) had values within this range, except 1 case (2.5). In diploid cases, CISH generated HER2 signal value of 2.063±0.19. Results from 11 (91.7%) cases fell within this range, except 1 HP case (2.35). Sensitivity is 90%, specificity 91.6%, and overall accuracy 90.9%. The current study is the first one that demonstrates HER2/CEN-17 dual-color CISH can be used for microscopic analysis of cell ploidy. This technique provides a relatively easy and straight way to access DI using regular bright-field microscope. Concurrent CEN-17 signal and ploidy in both placental and maternal tissue can be used as internal control. This assay can be performed in any laboratory that can perform immunohistochemistry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-469
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • chromogenic in situ hybridization
  • hydatidiform mole
  • ploidy
  • products of conception


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