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Am J Dermatopathol. 2001 Oct;23(5):419-26.

Benign fibrous histiocytoma (dermatofibroma) of the face: clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 34 cases associated with an aggressive clinical course.

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  • 1Department of Dermatohistopathology, Friedrichshafen, Germany. tmentzel@w-4.de


Thirty-four cases of fibrous histiocytoma (dermatofibroma) arising on the face are reported. These neoplasms occurred frequently in females (24 female, 10 male) and showed a broad age range (12 to 85 years; mean: 43.6 years, median: 41 years). The neoplasms originated on the forehead (nine cases), the cheek (eight cases), the eyebrow (four cases), the temporal region (three cases), the nose (two cases), and the ear (one case); in seven cases the location face was given only. Five of 27 cases with follow-up information (median: 5 years) recurred locally; in one case four recurrences were excised within 8 years. The majority of cases extended into the subcutis and deep soft tissue including striated muscle (50% of cases). Histologically, only the minority of cases was composed entirely of histiocytoid and spindle-shaped tumor cells arranged in a storiform growth pattern. In many cases cellular fascicles and bundles of spindle-shaped tumor cells were noted in addition to classical morphological features of fibrous histiocytoma. A moderate mitotic rate (mean: 2.97 mitoses in 10 HPFs) was observed, and in few cases increased atypia was evident. Frank tumor necrosis and/or vascular invasion were not identified. Immunohistochemical studies revealed Factor XIIIa positivity in 13 out of 17, focal CD68 positivity in 6 out of 10, and alpha-smooth muscle actin positivity in 16 out of 19 cases tested. These lesions should be distinguished from dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, including its fibrosarcomatous variant, leiomyosarcoma, and low-grade myofibroblastic sarcoma. Cases of fibrous histiocytoma of the face have to be excised with wider margins in comparison with examples of classical fibrous histiocytoma occurring on the extremities because of diffuse infiltration, involvement of deeper structures, and an increased rate of local recurrences.

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