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Vet Pathol. 2002 Jan;39(1):66-73.

The diagnosis and prognosis of synovial tumors in dogs: 35 cases.

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  • 1University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Laboratory of Pathology and Toxicology, Philadelphia, USA.


Although synovial cell sarcoma is reported to be the most common neoplasm of the canine synovium, this retrospective study of 35 canine synovial tumors found that the majority were of histiocytic origin. Five (14.3%) synovial cell sarcomas were identified by positive immunohistochemical staining with antibodies to cytokeratin. Eighteen (51.4%) histiocytic sarcomas were identified by cell morphology and immunohistochemical staining with antibodies to CD18. Six (17.1%) synovial myxomas were identified by histologic pattern. The remaining six (17.1%) synovial tumors represented a variety of sarcomas, including two malignant fibrous histiocytomas (actin positive), one fibrosarcoma, one chondrosarcoma, and two undifferentiated sarcomas. Rottweilers were overrepresented in the histiocytic sarcoma category and Doberman Pinschers were overrepresented in the synovial myxoma category. The average survival time was 31.8 months for dogs with synovial cell sarcoma, 5.3 months for dogs with histiocytic sarcoma, 30.7 months for dogs with synovial myxoma, and 3.5 months for dogs with other sarcomas. Among the dogs with follow-up information available, metastatic disease was detected in 25% of dogs with synovial cell sarcoma, in 91% of dogs with histiocytic sarcoma, in none of the dogs with synovial myxoma, and in 100% of dogs with other sarcomas. Immunohistochemical staining for cytokeratin, CD18, and smooth muscle actin is recommended to make the diagnosis and thereby predict the behavior of synovial tumors in dogs.

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