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Spindle cell lipoma of the foot and the application of CD34 immunohistochemistry to atypical lipomatous tumors in unusual locations.

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Department of Pathology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Palo Alto, California, USA.


Spindle cell lipoma demonstrates a distinctive histologic appearance and characteristic clinical presentation. We recently observed two cases of solitary subcutaneous neoplasm of the foot with histologic features of spindle cell lipoma that in one case includes a minor component of the overlapping tumor, pleomorphic lipoma. Because the foot is an unusual location for these neoplasms, immunoperoxidase and cytogenetic studies were performed. In both cases, staining was strongly positive for CD34 and negative for smooth muscle actin. Cytogenetic studies from the tumor with a pleomorphic component revealed features consistent with a lipomatous neoplasm, but are otherwise diagnostically nonspecific. An analysis of the literature reveals that although CD34 immunoreactivity is characteristic of spindle cell lipoma and helps exclude nonlipomatous neoplasms, it does not clearly eliminate other well-differentiated lipomatous tumors. Accordingly, without the aid of classic tumor location, the diagnosis of the spindle cell/pleomorphic lipoma group relies primarily on histologic features, with supportive but not definitive information provided by immunoperoxidase and cytogenetic studies. Obscuring this issue, however, are the imprecise histologic distinction between these tumors and those of the atypical lipoma/atypical lipomatous tumor/ well-differentiated liposarcoma group and the nomenclature controversy that surrounds the latter group of neoplasms. Despite these obstacles, both groups of well-differentiated lipomatous tumors are clinically benign when subcutaneously located.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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