Epithelioid sarcoma: An immunohistochemical analysis of 112 classical and variant cases and a discussion of the differential diagnosis

Markku Miettinen, Julie C. Fanburg-Smith, Martti Virolainen, Barry M. Shmookler, John F. Fetsch

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256 Citations (SciVal)


Epithelioid sarcoma (ES) is a distinctive soft tissue neoplasm with a predilection for the distal extremities of young adults. This tumor typically contains nodular aggregates of epithelioid and spindle cells with zonal necrosis. The neoplastic cells are generally reported to coexpress keratin and vimentin and are often stated to be positive for CD34. However, there is no large series with extensive immunohistochemical data, there are few data with regard to expression of different keratin subtypes, and there are no large series discussing the epithelioid sarcoma subtypes. In the current study, we immunohistochemically evaluated 88 typical and 24 variant (8 angiomatoid, 9 large cell/rhabdoid, and 7 'fibroma-like') ESs. Nearly all ESs with typical histology (94%) were positive for keratin 8 (K8), whereas 72% were positive for K19, 48% for intermediate- and high-molecular-weight keratins (34βEH12), and 22% for K7; reactivity with the latter two antibodies was usually seen in only a minority of tumor cells. Vimentin reactivity was present in all cases, EMA in 96% of cases and muscle-specific actin and CD34 were noted in 41% and 52% of the cases, respectively. A few ESs (7%) showed focal cytoplasmic CD31 reactivity, but none exhibited a distinctive membrane staining pattern, and examples tested for FVIIIRAg were negative. The angiomatoid, fibroma-like, and large cell-rhabdoid ES variants had immunohistochemical profiles similar to the classic cases, supporting a common pathogenesis. Although not consistently expressed in ES, the presence of CD34 is helpful in distinguishing this entity from primary and metastatic carcinomas and other sarcomas such as malignant rhabdoid tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-942
Number of pages9
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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