Plexiform Fibrohistiocytic Tumor: Ultrastructural Studies May Aid in Discrimination from Cellular Neurothekeoma
Department of Pathology, The Children's Hospital, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.Ultrastructural Pathology (Impact Factor: 1.08). 12/2009; 33(6):286-92. DOI: 10.3109/01913120903348860
Plexiform fibrohistiocytic tumor is a low-grade soft tissue malignancy that can at times be difficult to differentiate from the less biologically aggressive cellular neurothekeoma. The two entities, which may display identical clinical and histological features, cannot be distinguished by immunohistochemical or molecular diagnostic means. Electron microscopy may enable the accurate identification of problematic examples and thus aid in resolving these occasionally occurring diagnostic dilemmas. To illustrate typical variations in the ultrastructural appearance of plexiform fibrohistiocytic tumor, the authors present two diagnostically noncontroversial examples, and to demonstrate the potential diagnostic utility of electron microscopy in this setting, they present an example of plexiform fibrohistiocytic tumor that could not otherwise have been distinguished from cellular neurothekeoma.
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ABSTRACT: Plexiform fibrohistiocytic tumor (PFH) and cellular neurothekeoma (CN) are dermal neoplasms that present many histological and immunophenotype similarities as well as unknown histogenesis. Recently, the ultrastructural detection of zebra body-like inclusions in lesional histiocytes has been considered crucial to favor the diagnosis of PFH over that of CN. Here we report two examples of dermal tumors that were diagnosed as CN. Electron microscopy revealed cytoplasmic collections of myelin and zebra body-like inclusions in tumor cells; these inclusions focally merged together or with multivesicular bodies; tumor cells also showed collagen secretion granules and fibripositors, i.e., channels containing single, double or multiple copies of collagen fibrils. These observations support the view that PFH and CN have a common histogenesis and consists of cells sharing phagocityc and fibrillogenic abilities.
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ABSTRACT: Cellular neurothekeoma is a frequent source of diagnostic difficulty. In order to gain more insight into the range of histologic features of cellular neurothekeoma, we examined all cases from our institution, with a focus on describing atypical histologic features. Cases with sufficient histologic material for evaluation were retrieved. Cases were analyzed for demographics, growth pattern, myxoid stroma, cytologic atypia, mitotic rate, perineural invasion, and other histologic features. The 37 patients (16 M; 21 F) had a mean age of 31.0 years (range: 4-89). Tumors involved the head and neck (n=16), arms (n=11), trunk and shoulders (n=8), and foot (n=2). All cases had at least focal nesting of epithelioid to spindled tumors cells characteristic of cellular neurothekeoma. In many, alternate growth patterns were present and represented the dominant pattern in some. These patterns included fascicular (n=9), sheet-like (n=6), and corded (n=4). Myxoid stroma was present in 14 and was prominent in 5. Cytologic atypia was present in 19 patients, with 3 having severe atypia. Mean mitotic rate was 2.0/mm(2) (range 0-10 per mm(2)). Neurotropism was seen in four cases. Other unusual features included collagen trapping, giant cells, hemorrhage, lymphocytic cuffing, chondroid stroma, and cellular vacuolization. Cellular neurothekeoma has a wider range of features than is commonly recognized. The presence of nests of epithelioid tumor cells with characteristic cytologic features, no matter how focal, is a clue to the diagnosis.Modern Pathology advance online publication, 1 November 2013; doi:10.1038/modpathol.2013.190.