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Iran Red Crescent Med J. 2013 Jun;15(6):455-61. doi: 10.5812/ircmj.4735. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

The small round blue cell tumors of the sinonasal area: histological and immunohistochemical findings.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Shiraz Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran.
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology, Shiraz Medical School, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, IR Iran.



Primary Small round blue cell tumors (SRBCT) in sinonasal comprise histogenetically diverse entities with overlapping morphologic features. Because of the limited initial biopsy tissue materials, differential diagnostic difficulties may arise, and as they have different management, exact diagnosis and classification are very important.


In this study, we analyzed the immunohistochemical expression of a panel of markers in the classification and diagnosis of sinonasal SRBCTs.


This cross sectional study was performed on 36 paraffin embedded tissue samples. Histologic and immunohistochemical slides from 36 patients with SRBCT were analyzed retrospectively. The patients were admitted in Khalili hospital, Shiraz from 1383 to 1388.


There were 13 women and 23 men with the mean age of 53 ±12.1. There were 9 malignant melanoma, seven poorly differentiated SCC; six lymphoma (DLBL); 4 SCNEC; three SNUC; two ON; two Ewing/PNET; two embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, and one plasmacytoma. Pan-cytokeratin was strongly expressed poorly differentiated SCC and all cases of SNUC. Coexpression of desmin and nuclear myoD1 was only detected in rhabdomyosarcoma. HMB45 was only expressed in sinonasal melanoma. CD99 expression was identified only in Ewing/PNET. FLI-1 was detected in 50% of PNET. P63 was expressed in poorly differentiated SCC (2/7) and SNUC (1/3).


The results of our study indicate that the integration of histopathologic findings with application of limited but highly specific markers led to the separation of carcinomas, lymphoma and melanomas from other small cell tumors. Using a panel of keratin, LCA, desmin, and HMB45 is the most practical and economic approach to accurately classify these tumors.


Carcinoid Tumor; Histological Techniques; IHC64

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