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Am J Surg Pathol. 1997 Jul;21(7):827-35.

Splenic vascular tumors: a histologic, immunophenotypic, and virologic study.

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  • 1Division of Pathology, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA 91010, USA.


Vascular tumors of the spleen include several different entities, some of which are unique to that organ. Twenty-two such proliferations were studied, including 10 hemangiomas, six littoral cell angiomas, four angiosarcomas, and two hamartomas. The hemangiomas included seven with localized tumors and three with diffuse angiomatosis of the spleen. All cases were studied by paraffin section immunohistochemistry with a large panel of antibodies. In addition, all cases were studied for the presence of the Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) using the polymerase chain reaction. The morphologic findings were similar to those previously reported. All proliferations were vimentin positive, and one angiosarcoma was focally keratin positive. All cases reacted for CD31, whereas 20 of 22 were positive for von Willebrand's factor and 19 of 22 were positive for Ulex europeaus. CD34 expression in lining cells was identified in 10 of 10 hemangiomas, two of four angiosarcomas, and one of two hamartomas, whereas all six cases of littoral cell angioma were negative. CD68 was expressed in all cases of littoral cell angioma but was also positive in all three diffuse hemangiomas, two of seven localized hemangiomas, and two of four angiosarcomas. CD21 expression was restricted to the lining cells of littoral cell angioma, and CD8 expression was only identified in two of two hamartomas and two of four angiosarcomas. KSHV was not detected in any of the cases. These findings suggest that there are distinct immunophenotypic as well as morphologic features of splenic vascular tumors. Littoral cell angiomas have a characteristic CD34-/CD68+/CD21+/CD8- immunophenotype and hamartomas have a characteristic CD68-/CD21-/CD8+ phenotype. The frequent CD68 expression in diffuse hemangioma suggests an immunophenotypic difference from localized hemangioma of the spleen.

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