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Hum Pathol. 1994 Aug;25(8):766-71.

CD34 expression by gastrointestinal tract stromal tumors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305.


Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are neoplasms arising in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract that frequently show evidence of smooth muscle differentiation, either by their appearance alone or by immunohistology. A significant number of these neoplasms fail to react with any markers of muscle differentiation, however. A subset of these neoplasms have epithelioid features, and the presence of these features can give rise to confusion with other neoplasms, such as carcinomas and melanomas. Here we show that the CD34 monoclonal antibody My10 reacts with 19 of 23 (83%) of these lesions, including both those with and without epithelioid features. Five of 10 epithelioid and one of 13 spindled neoplasms lacked detectable muscle-specific actin (MSA), smooth muscle actin (SMA), and desmin; all six were CD34 reactive. Immunoblotting experiments show that the antigen on these stromal neoplasms has a molecular weight identical to that found on hematopoietic cells. The frequency and intensity of the reactivity of GISTs with anti-CD34 antibodies are distinctly higher than those reported for smooth muscle neoplasms of soft tissue and myometrium. This reactivity can be a useful adjunct in the diagnosis of difficult cases, especially in those exhibiting epithelioid morphology.

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