Test Catalog

Test ID: MUCN4    
Mucin 4, Immunostain, Technical Component Only

Useful For Suggests clinical disorders or settings where the test may be helpful

Aids in the differentiation of sarcomatoid carcinoma from sarcomatoid mesothelioma

Testing Algorithm Delineates situations when tests are added to the initial order. This includes reflex and additional tests.

Clinical Information Discusses physiology, pathophysiology, and general clinical aspects, as they relate to a laboratory test

Mucin 4 (MUC4) is a large membrane-anchored glycoprotein that belongs to the mucin family. Mucins play important roles in the protection of epithelial cells and have been implicated in epithelial renewal and differentiation. MUC4 is expressed in the cytoplasm and membrane of respiratory, gastrointestinal, cervical, and prostatic epithelial cells. Overexpression of MUC4 has been observed in many carcinomas. It has been shown to be useful for the distinction between sarcomatoid carcinoma (often expressed) versus sarcomatoid mesothelioma (usually negative).

Interpretation Provides information to assist in interpretation of the test results

This test includes only technical performance of the stain (no pathologist interpretation is performed). If diagnostic consultation by a pathologist is required order PATHC / Pathology Consultation.


The positive and negative controls are verified as showing appropriate immunoreactivity. If a control tissue is not included on the slide, a scanned image of the relevant quality control tissue is available upon request. Contact 855-516-8404.


Interpretation of this test should be performed in the context of the patient's clinical history and other diagnostic tests by a qualified pathologist.

Cautions Discusses conditions that may cause diagnostic confusion, including improper specimen collection and handling, inappropriate test selection, and interfering substances

Age of a cut paraffin section can affect immunoreactivity. Stability thresholds vary widely among published literature and are antigen-dependent. Best practice is for paraffin sections to be cut within 6 weeks.

Clinical Reference Recommendations for in-depth reading of a clinical nature

1. Tamura Y, Higashi M, Kitamoto S, et al: MUC4 and MUC1 expression in adenocarcinoma of the stomach correlates with vessel invasion and lymph node metastasis: an immunohistochemical study of early gastric cancer. PLoS One 2012; 7(11):e49251

2. Kwon K, Ro J, Singhal N, et al: MUC4 expression in non-small cell lung carcinomas: relationship to tumor histology and patient survival. Arch Pathol Lab Med 2007 Apr;131(4):593-598

3. Majhi PD, Lakshmanan I, Ponnusamy M, et al: Pathobiological implications of MUC4 in non-small-cell lung cancer. J Thorac Oncol 2013 Apr;8(4):398-407

4. Cowan M, Thompson L, Leon M, et al: Low-Grade Fibromyxoid Sarcoma of the Head and Neck: A Clinicopathologic Series and Review of the Literature. Head Neck Pathol 2016 Jun;10(2):161-166