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Endocr Pathol. 2002 Summer;13(2):149-56.

Prediction of malignant behavior of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas using immunohistochemical techniques.

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Department of Pathology, Tokai University, School of Medicine, Isehara, Kanagawa, Japan.


Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas arise from the adrenal glands and extraadrenal paraganglia, respectively. Malignant behavior of these tumors is uncommon and is, in part, dependent on their sites of origin, such as extraadrenal location. Morphologic criteria for malignancy of pheochromocytoma and paragangliomas have not been clearly defined. In this study, to clarify the histologic features that distinguish the benign from malignant pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, we examined metastatic and nonmetastatic tumors using immunohistochemical techniques. A total of eight cases, five pheochromocytomas from the adrenal glands (four benign and one malignant tumor) and three paragangliomas with invasion or metastasis, were studied. The markers used in this study were chromogranin A, synaptophysin, NCAM (CD56), SNAP25, neuron-specific enolase, S-100 protein, and MIB-1. Our results suggest that MIB-1 immunostaining is a useful adjunct marker to predict malignant behavior in these tumors.

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