Vascular changes in merkel cell carcinoma based on a histopathological study of 92 cases.
ABSTRACT Although prominent vascular proliferation is a known feature of various neuroendocrine tumors, it has not been systematically studied in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) of the skin. The purpose of this study was to fully characterize the light microscopic, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural features of vascular changes associated with MCC and to determine their frequency and differential diagnostic implications. Additionally, the presence of human herpesvirus 8 DNA in the lesional tissue was investigated. Of 92 studied cases of MCC, 18 cases (20%) were found to exhibit foci of prominent vascular changes which were classified into the following 6 patterns: pericyte hyperplasia, pyogenic granuloma-like, hemangioendothelioma-like, epithelioid hemangioma-like, peliosis-like, and follicular dendritic cell tumor-like pattern. In addition, Azzopardi phenomenon was observed. These changes occurred singly or in combination. Human herpesvirus 8 DNA was identified by polymerase chain reaction in none of the 18 cases. It is concluded that prominent vascular proliferations may be seen in 20% of MCC, and thereby, MCC resembles neuroendocrine tumors in other organs. When unduly prominent and encountered in a limited biopsy specimen, vascular alterations may represent a potential diagnostic pitfall, but, on the other hand, they themselves may serve as a clue to the correct diagnosis. Human herpesvirus 8 does not play a role in angiogenesis in MCC.
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ABSTRACT: Merkel cell carcinoma is a very rare and aggressive neoplasm. Due to its rarity, therapeutic guidelines are not well established, especially for regionally advanced disease. Articles in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish from the last 20 years were identified in MEDLINE and reviewed. The key word "Merkel" was used for the search, relevant articles were selected, and their references were examined. The most important articles related to epidemiology, genesis and treatment were reviewed. The incidence of Merkel cell carcinoma is increasing due to the advancing age of the population, higher rates of sun exposure and an increasing number of immunocompromised individuals. With regard to etiology, the recently described Merkel Cell polyomavirus is thought to play a role. Either local or regional surgical intervention remains the standard of care, but adjuvant radiotherapy or radiotherapy as a primary treatment have been discussed as reasonable therapeutic options. An update on this rare neoplasia is essential because of its increasing incidence and changing treatment options.Clinics (São Paulo, Brazil) 01/2011; 66(10):1817-23. · 1.59 Impact Factor