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Histopathology. 1998 Oct;33(4):354-60.

Sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma: a study of five cases emphasizing diagnostic criteria.

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  • 1Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK.



To study the clinical and histopathological features of sclerosing epithelioid fibrosarcoma, and to define diagnostic criteria for this uncommon soft-tissue tumour.


Standard histological, immunohistochemical and ultrastructural techniques were applied to five tumours from head and neck, chest wall and groin. Tumours consisted of groups of monomorphic rounded/epithelioid cells surrounded by a prominent collagenous stroma. Tumour cells showed positive vimentin staining but were negative for other markers. They contained prominent rough endoplasmic reticulum and a large Golgi apparatus which in one case was producing collagen secretion granules, an ultrastructural marker for collagen production. Three patients had medium to long-term survival (3-7 years). Of these, one was disease-free for 3 years, and two experienced multiple recurrences: one of the latter died of metastatic disease.


Criteria for diagnosing this uncommon tumour include: small to medium cell size, clear or pale cytoplasm, cellular arrangement in cords and strands, dense collagenous stroma; vimentin staining; rough endoplasmic reticulum and a Golgi apparatus producing, in well preserved examples, collagen secretion granules. The paper emphasizes the value of electron microscopy, supporting an appropriate histological picture and immunophenotype, in identifying these relatively low-grade sarcomas.

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