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IHC - Cytokeratin 20 - CK20

IHC - Cytokeratin 20 - CK20

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a powerful diagnostic tool in pathology that uses antibodies to identify specific proteins in cells from a tissue section. One such application is the IHC for Cytokeratin 20 (CK20), which identifies the presence of CK20, a protein expressed in the cytoplasm of cells.

CK20 is a type of cytokeratin, a family of intermediate filament proteins that are a component of the cytoskeleton in epithelial cells. CK20 is normally present in the gastrointestinal epithelium, urothelium, and Merkel cells. An IHC-CK20 test is thus particularly useful in the diagnosis of cancers originating from these tissues, helping to differentiate them from other types of malignancies. It is often performed along with other IHC tests, such as CK7, to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the tumor's origin.


  • Test NameIHC - Cytokeratin 20 - CK20
  • Sample TypeTissue
  • Preparations RequiredNone
  • Report Time3 days

What does the IHC - CK20 test measure?

The IHC - CK20 test detects the presence of CK20, a protein expressed in certain types of epithelial cells. Increased expression of CK20 can be indicative of certain types of cancer.

Why is the IHC - CK20 test important?

The IHC - CK20 test helps identify the origin of certain types of cancer, assisting in the diagnosis and influencing the treatment plan.

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Frequently Asked Questions

No special preparation is needed for the IHC - CK20 test. It is performed on a tissue sample that is obtained through a biopsy or surgery.

Your doctor will recommend an IHC - CK20 test if they suspect that you have a type of cancer that commonly expresses CK20, such as colorectal or bladder cancer, or to determine the origin of an unknown primary tumor.

The IHC - CK20 test is typically performed at the time of diagnosis or when there is a change in the disease condition. It is not generally used for routine monitoring.

CK20 is normally present in certain types of cells such as those in the gastrointestinal tract and urothelium. The presence or absence of CK20 in a tumor and its pattern of expression, rather than a specific value, is used to interpret the results of the test.

There are no specific precautions necessary for this test. However, you should discuss your full medical history with your doctor before the test.

The presence and levels of CK20 can be affected by the type and stage of the cancer, as well as treatment modalities.

If your CK20 levels are abnormal, you should consult an oncologist for further evaluation and treatment.

No, this test requires a tissue sample that needs to be obtained through a biopsy or surgical procedure, which must be performed in a healthcare setting.

Detection of CK20 in a tumor indicates that the tumor likely originated from an organ that normally expresses CK20, such as the colon or bladder.

The IHC - CK20 test itself has no associated risks. However, the biopsy or surgical procedure to obtain the tissue sample may carry risks, which your doctor will discuss with you.

A tissue sample for the IHC - CK20 test is collected by a biopsy or during a surgical procedure. The specific method of collection will depend on the location of the suspected tumor.

Yes, the IHC - CK20 test is often done in conjunction with other tests like the IHC - CK7 test. This is because the pattern of CK7 and CK20 expression can provide more detailed information about the type and origin of the tumor.

The results of the IHC - CK20 test indicate whether or not CK20 is present in the tested cells. This can aid in diagnosing certain types of cancer. Your healthcare provider will interpret the results in the context of your symptoms, medical history, and other test results.

The IHC - CK20 test is highly reliable when conducted in a properly equipped laboratory by trained technicians. However, it's important to understand that no test is 100% accurate and results should always be interpreted in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures and clinical findings.

While the IHC - CK20 test can aid in identifying the type and origin of a cancer, it does not provide direct information about the stage of the disease. Other tests and investigations are needed for staging cancer.

The primary purpose of the IHC - CK20 test is to aid in diagnosing certain types of cancer. It's not typically used for routine monitoring of treatment effectiveness, although your doctor may order the test under certain circumstances, such as to confirm the origin of recurrent disease.

The IHC - CK20 test is one of many immunohistochemical tests that detect specific proteins in cells. Depending on your specific symptoms, medical history, and the suspected type of cancer, your doctor may order other tests to aid in diagnosis.

CK20 expression can potentially change following treatment, but this is not usually monitored with IHC tests. Any changes in tumor characteristics due to treatment would typically be evaluated through other methods such as imaging studies or assessment of clinical response.

An understanding of the IHC - CK20 test is essential in the realm of oncology. The detection of CK20 expression can provide valuable insights into the nature and origin of a tumor, contributing to a more accurate diagnosis and guiding appropriate treatment. It's crucial to remember that while the IHC - CK20 test is a reliable diagnostic tool, it is just one component of a comprehensive diagnostic approach, and its results should be interpreted within the broader context of a patient's overall clinical scenario.

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