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Am J Surg Pathol. 1991 Jul;15(7):615-24.

Undifferentiated (embryonal) sarcoma of the liver. A tumor of uncertain histogenesis showing divergent differentiation.

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Department of Pathology, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, CA 90027.


Pathologic features of eight cases of undifferentiated (embryonal) sarcoma of the liver (USL) in childhood were studied. Light microscopic examination showed a diffuse growth of spindle cells with occasional polygonal cells and multinucleated giant cells and also revealed focal areas of storiform pattern in four tumors, cambium layer formation in one tumor, and alveolar arrangement in one tumor. Immunohistochemical study showed positive staining of proliferating cells for suggestive histiocytic markers (A1AT in 6/6, A1ACT in 5/6, lysozyme in 4/6, and KP1 in 4/6) and for muscle markers (desmin in 4/6 and HHF35 in 3/6). Ultrastructural examination demonstrated that the individual tumors were composed of a mixture of cells having fibroblastic, histiocytoid, fibrohistiocytoid, myofibroblastic, and undifferentiated (primitive mesenchymal) morphologies. Also identified were cells with definite myoblastic morphology in three tumors: leiomyoblastic in one and rhabdomyoblastic in two. In conclusion, the tumor cells in USL show phenotypical diversity comparable to those of malignant fibrous histiocytoma with or without additional rhabdomyosarcomatous or leiomyosarcomatous differentiation.

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