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Am J Surg Pathol. 2007 Jul;31(7):1103-14.

Neurothekeoma: an analysis of 178 tumors with detailed immunohistochemical data and long-term patient follow-up information.

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Department of Soft Tissue Pathology , Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306-6000, USA.


This report describes the clinicopathologic findings in 176 patients who presented with 178 tumors currently referred to as neurothekeomas. Our study group included 64 males and 112 females, ranging from 20 months to 85 years old at the time of their first surgical procedure (median age: 17 y). Twenty-four percent of patients were <or=10 years of age and only 20% of patients were >or=30 years of age at initial diagnosis. The patients typically presented with a solitary, superficial, slow-growing, and relatively asymptomatic mass in the 0.3 to 2.0 cm size range. One patient had multiple tumors. More than 75% of the lesions involved the head (n=63), upper extremities (n=44), and shoulder girdle (n=27) regions. The tumors were evident a few weeks to 4 years (median duration: approximately 7 mo) before surgical resection was sought. Histologically, the lesions involved the dermis and/or subcutis, and they formed multinodular masses with varying amounts of myxoid matrix and peripheral fibrosis. On the basis of the amount of myxoid matrix, the tumors were subclassified as cellular (n=63), mixed (n=67), or myxoid (n=48). All cases had spindled and epithelioid mononuclear neoplastic cells with relatively abundant cytoplasm and indistinct cell borders. The majority of cases also had occasional multinucleated tumor cells. The lesional cells had a strong tendency for whorled growth, and oftentimes, focal fascicular growth was also present. Nuclear atypia was minimal in 62 cases, mild in 73 cases, at least focally moderate in 41 cases, and focally marked in 2 cases. Mitotic activity ranged from 0 to 124 mitotic figures/25 wide-field high power fields (WHPFs) (median mitotic count: 4 mitotic figures/25WHPFs). Twenty-five lesions had >10 mitotic figures/25WHPFs. A total of 16 cases (9%) had atypical mitotic figures. Osteoclastlike giant cells were detected in 39% of cases. Immunoreactivity was typically present for vimentin, NKI/C3, CD10, microphthalmia transcription factor, and PGP9.5, and focal reactivity was sometimes noted for smooth muscle actin and CD68. All tumors tested were negative for S100 protein, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and Melan A. The overwhelming majority of cases had involvement of the tissue margins. A complete follow-up record is available for 71 patients (40.3%) with follow-up intervals ranging from 3 years 2 months to 34 years 9 months (median: 17 y 9 mo). Limited or incomplete follow-up information is also available for an additional 14 patients with follow-up intervals ranging from weeks to approximately 10 years (median: 5 mo). Regrowth of tumor after biopsy or local excision was reported in 13 patients, one of whom had 2 recurrences. However, because of the nature of our consultation practice and a tendency for clinicians to specifically send us cases with a complex clinical course, this is believed an overestimation of the true recurrence rate. Neurothekeomas are morphologically and immunohistochemically distinct from true nerve sheath myxomas. An origin from fibroblastic cells with the ability to differentiate into myofibroblasts and a tendency to recruit histiocytic cells is postulated.

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