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Am J Dermatopathol. 1999 Oct;21(5):414-9.

Differential expression of CD34 and Ki-M1p in pleomorphic fibroma and dermatofibroma with monster cells.

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  • 1Department of General Pathology, University of Kiel, Germany.


Pleomorphic fibroma (PF) and dermatofibroma with monster cells (DFMC) are characterized by the presence of numerous cells with large atypical nuclei. Despite cytologic similarities, the two entities are likely to be unrelated, but their histogenesis is poorly understood. In this study, we examined six cases of PF and eleven cases of DFMC by immunohistochemistry using antibodies against vimentin, alpha-smooth muscle actin, S-100 protein, CD34, factor XIIIa, and the pan-monocytic marker Ki-M1p. Strong vimentin expression was seen in all tumors, whereas none of them expressed S-100 protein. PF consistently exhibited CD34 staining but appeared to be depleted of Ki-M1p positive cells compared with the surrounding normal skin. Conversely, all cases of DFMC contained numerous Ki-M1p positive cells including atypical multinucleate cells, but virtually no CD34 reactivity was observed. A weak staining for alpha-smooth muscle actin was occasionally seen in a subset of the cells of both entities. Our results indicate that PF and DFMC are histogenetically distinct entities that may arise from two different types of dermal dendritic cells defined by their reactivity for CD34 and Ki-M1p, respectively. Immunohistochemistry using these two antibodies permits an easy and reliable discrimination between PF and DFMC.

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