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Hum Pathol. 1992 Nov;23(11):1289-97.

Lung carcinoma with spindle cell components: sixteen cases examined by immunohistochemistry.

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.


Sixteen cases of lung carcinoma with spindle cell components were studied by conventional histochemistry and immunohistochemistry. The epithelial components were squamous cell carcinoma in six cases, adenocarcinoma in four, adenosquamous carcinoma in five, and large cell carcinoma in one. In every case sarcomatous areas were distinctly observed and, in general, neoplastic spindle cells proliferated in close proximity to the epithelial elements. Some of the histochemical procedures suggested mesenchymal features in the stroma of the exophytic portions of three cases, but heterogeneous elements, such as bone or striated muscle, were not observed. By immunohistochemical examination the epithelial elements showed positive reactions for keratin, epithelial membrane antigen, and/or carcinoembryonic antigen to a varying degree according to the histologic types. The spindle cell elements revealed a positive immunoreaction for keratin in all but one case. Epithelial membrane antigen was demonstrated in sarcomatous areas of only five cases and carcinoembryonic antigen was not expressed at all. In contrast, vimentin was distinctly demonstrated in sarcomatous areas of five cases, although other mesenchymal markers, such as desmin, actin, and myosin, were negative. These findings indicate that the spindle cell components in these 16 cases may represent mesenchymal features with partial or complete loss of epithelial features.

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