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Ann Diagn Pathol. 2009 Aug;13(4):239-45. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2009.03.006. Epub 2009 May 21.

Imprint cytology of primary cardiac sarcomas: a report of 3 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Kashiwara Municipal Hospital, Kashiwara, Osaka 582-0005, Japan.


Primary cardiac sarcomas are rare instances and only occasionally documented in the cytologic literature. Usually, the diagnosis of these rare lesions can be made at echocardiography, aspiration biopsy cytology, cardiac biopsy, and open cardiac surgery (intraoperative diagnosis). In this study, cytologic configurations and immunohistochemistry for 3 primary cardiac sarcomas (rhabdomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma, and malignant fibrous histiocytoma) were revealed. In rhabdomyosarcoma (right ventricle), the tumor cells exhibited an anisocytotic spindle-shaped nuclei with hyperchromasia and an obscure cytoplasmic margin. Vimentin and myosin were positive throughout the cytoplasm for the tumor cells. In angiosarcoma (right atrium), small clusters of anisocytotic spindle-shaped tumor cells appeared as vascular-like structures and hemosiderin-laden macrophages in many erythrocyte-rich backgrounds. Nuclei showed round to oval shape with hyperchromasia and prominent large nucleoli. Cytoplasm was obscure and elongated. Factor VIII related antigen and CD34 were strongly positive throughout the cytoplasm for the tumor cells. In malignant fibrous histiocytoma (right ventricle), the tumor cells exhibited oval to spindle-shaped and elongated nuclei and coarse granular chromatins with hyperchromasia. The nuclear margin was thin. A few small round nucleoli appeared. Elongated obscure and foamy cytoplasm was stained pale blue. Vimentin and alpha(1)-antitrypsin were positive throughout the cytoplasm for the tumor cells. This study elucidated the cellular characteristics and immunohistochemistry for cardiac sarcomas using imprint smears as an aid to cytopathologic diagnosis.

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