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Am J Surg Pathol. 2001 Jun;25(6):710-20.

Eccrine porocarcinoma (malignant eccrine poroma): a clinicopathologic study of 69 cases.

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Nuffield Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Oxford, UK.


The clinicopathologic characteristics of 69 cases of eccrine porocarcinoma (EP) have been studied. Seven cases of purely in situ disease are included. Forty patients were female, 29 male with ages ranging from 29 to 91 years (mean 73 years). The lower extremity represented the single most common site (44%). Other common sites were the trunk (15 cases, 24%) and head (11 cases, 18%). The histologic diagnosis of EP was predicated on the basis of an irregular tumor at least partly formed of characteristic poromatous basaloid epithelial cells displaying ductal differentiation, and significant cytologic atypia. Forty-seven tumors (68%) contained mature well-formed eccrine ducts having an eosinophilic luminal cuticle, with the remaining tumors containing small ill-formed ducts and/or intracytoplasmic lumina. All ducts were discernible via light microscopy and in 49 cases were highlighted with DPAS stain and/or CEA/EMA immunocytochemistry. A variant with a broad pushing tumor margin and marked nuclear pleomorphism showed some resemblance to proliferative bowenoid dysplasia. In 11 cases (18%) the tumors appeared to arise in continuity with a benign preexistent poroma. A variety of histologic patterns were displayed including clear, squamous, and spindle cell differentiation, mucus cell metaplasia, and colonization by melanocytes. Lymphovascular invasion was present in 9 cases (15%). Three cases showed pagetoid extension of malignant cells (epidermotropism) and appeared to be multifocal. Follow-up was available in 54 patients (78%) with 9 (17%) experiencing local recurrence, 10 developing lymph node metastases (19%), and 6 (11%) experiencing distant metastases or death. Mitoses, the presence of lymphovascular invasion, and tumor depth >7 mm were associated with a poorer prognosis. Dividing tumors into those with a "pushing" or "infiltrating" advancing margin was also predictive of outcome with the latter having an increased risk of local recurrence. This report, the largest series of EP to date, suggests that the incidence of aggressive behavior is less than popularly believed. Furthermore, EP can display a wide variety of histologic patterns that may lead to diagnostic error in the unwary. The large number of cases in this series enables a reliable evaluation of prognostic parameters. A more aggressive clinical course may be indicated by more than 14 mitoses per high power field (hazard ratio [HR] for death 17.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.71-107), lymphovascular invasion by tumor (HR 4.41, CI 1.13-17.2), and depth >7 mm (HR 5.49, CI 1.0-30.3). Thus, mitoses, lymphovascular invasion, and tumor depth should be evaluated in these tumors. We also suggest that tumors presenting an "infiltrative" advancing margin are particularly prone to local recurrence and require wide excision with close attention to the surgical margins by the reporting pathologist.

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