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J Vet Med Sci. 2009 Jan;71(1):109-12.

A case of canine vasotropic and vasoinvasive nonepitheliotropic lymphoma with unusual tumor cells and extensive dermal necrosis.

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Research Institute of Biosciences, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan.


A 14-year-old, spayed female Shih-tzu dog presented with masses in the dorsal aspect of cervical region and digit of the right anterior limb. Extensive necrosis was seen in the dermal tissue overlying the tumor, and diffuse round cell proliferation and infiltration were seen histologically from the superficial dermis to the deep dermis. Two types of proliferating cells were present: lymphoblast-like cells with round-oval, vesicular nuclei and moderate-large nucleoli; and smaller cells with characteristic irregularly shaped nuclei. Electron microscopy of these smaller cells showed cerebriform, pleomorphic nuclei with a chromatin pattern characteristic of lymphoid cells, as seen in lymphoblast-like tumor cells. Immunohistochemically, both types of tumor cells were positive for CD3. Most vessel walls had been invaded by tumor cells, resulting in extensive dermal necrosis and hemorrhage. Based on these histopathological findings, the tumor was diagnosed as vasotropic and vasoinvasive nonepitheliotropic lymphoma, characterized by a notable presence of unusual tumor cells with irregularly shaped nuclei and extensive dermal necrosis.

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