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Rare Tumors. 2009 Dec 28;1(2):e51. doi: 10.4081/rt.2009.e51.

Diagnostic confusion resulting from CD56 expression by cutaneous myeloid sarcoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and.


Myeloid sarcomas are tumor masses composed of aggregates of malignant myeloid precursors in extramedullary sites including the skin. We report a case of myeloid sarcoma in a patient who presented with an ear lobe mass and facial nerve paralysis. Expression of CD56 by the malignant cells led to an initial misdiagnosis as Merkel cell tumor. Comprehensive pathological evaluation confirmed the diagnosis of myeloid sarcoma with aberrant expression of CD56 and carrying the translocation t(8;21) (q22;q22). Aberrant antigen expression by cutaneous myeloid sarcomas can cause diagnostic confusion with other cutaneous neoplasms. This is especially relevant when myeloid sarcoma is the sole manifestation of acute myeloid leukemia.


fluorescent in situ hybridization; myeloid sarcoma; t(8;21) acute myelogenous leukemia.

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