Histiocytic sarcoma: a study of five cases including the histiocyte marker CD163.

Department of Hematopathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA.
Modern Pathology (Impact Factor: 6.36). 05/2005; 18(5):693-704. DOI: 10.1038/modpathol.3800346
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Histiocytic sarcoma (HS) is a rare but controversial hematopoietic neoplasm. In the past, malignancies have been misclassified as histiocytic tumors due to overlapping histologic features and inadequate phenotypic data. CD163, a recently characterized hemoglobin scavenger receptor, appears to be a 'specific' marker of histiocytic lineage and a promising diagnostic tool for evaluating histiocytic neoplasms. Five cases of HS were studied to further elucidate the clinicopathologic features of these rare tumors and to demonstrate the diagnostic utility of CD163. Criteria for diagnosis included histologic and immunohistochemical evidence of histiocytic differentiation, CD45 positivity, and exclusion of lymphoid, epithelial, melanocytic and dendritic cell phenotype. Sites of disease included the colon (two cases), palate, inguinal lymph node, and testis. The clinical course was aggressive in 4/5 patients (survival=2-15 months). One patient with localized disease of the palate, survived 17 years after diagnosis. All patients with poor survival had tumors > or =3.5 cm. Histologically, all cases showed diffuse architecture with large, discohesive polygonal cells. Spindling of cells was focally noted. Hemophagocytosis was identified in 3/5 cases. A prominent inflammatory background was present in 4/5 tumors. All cases were immunoreactive for CD45, CD163, CD68, and lysozyme. S-100 was focally positive in 4/5 cases. Antibodies for melanocytic, epithelial, lymphoid, and dendritic cell markers were negative. Molecular studies showed monoclonal IgH gene rearrangements in three cases. Our findings suggest that HS is an uncommon neoplasm frequently extranodal in presentation and aggressive in behavior, with rare exceptions. Stage of disease and possibly tumor size are significant prognostic indicators. Molecular studies remain controversial in the diagnosis. The morphologic and phenotypic features are relatively uniform; however, the diagnosis requires exclusion of more common neoplasms by extensive immunophenotypic studies. CD163 appears to be a specific histiocytic marker and is important in establishing the diagnosis of HS.

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