Cytokeratin AE1 / AE3

Topic Completed: 1 July 2013

Minor changes: 26 November 2019

Copyright: 2003-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Cytokeratin AE1 / AE3

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 29,190
Page views in 2020 to date: 15,101
Cite this page: Pernick N. Cytokeratin AE1 / AE3. website. Accessed July 2nd, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Keratin cocktail that detects CK1 - 8, 10, 14 - 16 and 19, but does not detect CK17 or CK18
  • Often referred to in literature as "keratin" or "pankeratin", although this may also refer to Cytokeratin MNF116
  • May cross react with GFAP, leading to aberrant staining of glial tumors (ependymoma, glioblastoma, schwannoma, Mod Pathol 2006;19:115)
  • Note: staining pattern of cocktail may be different than staining pattern of AE1 and AE3 separately, due to different pretreatment
Uses by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Contributed by Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D.,
Kameda Medical Center

MALT lymphoma

Strongly positive cancer
cells versus weakly positive
thyroid follicles

Cytology images

Scroll to see all images:

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Salivary gland:

Thyroid anaplastic carcinoma

Kidney: atypical angiomyolipoma -
(left) is negative, normal kidney;
(right) is positive

Images hosted on other servers:

Ascitis fluid: metastatic alveolar
rhabdomyosarcoma is negative,
mesotheilal cell is internal
positive control (fig C)

Breast ductal carcinoma: nodal metastases

Breast lobular carcinoma: metastasis to lymph node - H&E and AE1 / AE3

angiomyoepithelioma -
malignant, epithelial
component (fig C)

Duodenum: neuroendocrine carcinoma

Liver: adenomatoid tumor (fig 3)

Lung cancer
(non small cell)
lymph node

Lung cancer (non small cell) associated lymph node: frozen section

Nasal cavity:
small cell
(fig 1D)

Oral cavity:
squamous cell
carcinoma -
acantholytic type

Pleura: poorly differentiated carcinoma

Pleura: sarcomatoid mesothelioma (fig A)

Salivary gland: acinic cell carcinoma (left, fig 4); undifferentiated sarcoma - normal ducts (right, fig b)

Skin: basal cell
to bone (fig 4)

Small bowel:
(fig 3A)

Soft tissue: angiosarcoma - left, fig 2; right, fig 1C

Soft tissue: benign mixed tumor (fig B)

Soft tissue: myoepithelioma (fig C in both images)

Soft tissue: myxoid chondrosarcoma (fig B)

Spinal cord:
ependymoma of
filum terminale

Testis: yolk sac tumor

Testis: adenomatoid tumor

Positive staining - normal
Positive staining - disease
Negative stains
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