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Hum Pathol. 1977 Mar;8(2):205-18.

Myofibroblasts and related cells in malignant fibrous and fibrohistiocytic tumors.


Myofibroblasts were detected by electron microscopy in five of five cases of fibrosarcoma and in five of six cases of malignant fibrous histiocytoma. In some areas myofibroblasts constituted up to 75 per cent of the tumor cells. Most myofibroblasts contained only sheaves of myofilaments along the margins of the cells, but some cells contained larger bundles of myofilaments and very closely resembled smooth muscle cells. An additional related type of cell was seen in several cases; it was large and possessed abundant eosinophilic cytoplasm, resembling a rhabdomyoblast at the light microscopic level. By electron microscopy this type of cell was seen to contain plentiful rough endoplasmic reticulum and large aggregates of fine filaments with rare dense bodies. These findings suggest that fibrosarcomas and malignant fibrous histiocytomas contain cells showing a spectrum of differentiation from fibrocytic to myogenic and that at the ultrastructural level the distinction between fibroblast and smooth muscle tumors may be blurred.

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