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Am J Surg Pathol. 2010 Mar;34(3):341-54. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181ce107b.

Epithelioid versus rhabdoid glioblastomas are distinguished by monosomy 22 and immunohistochemical expression of INI-1 but not claudin 6.

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Department of Pathology, Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado at Denver, Denver, Colorado 80045, USA.


Epithelioid and rhabdoid glioblastomas are rare entities that share some overlapping morphologic features, but remain poorly characterized at the immunohistochemical and genetic level. We report 10 examples: 8 epithelioid glioblastomas (E-GBMs) and 2 rhabdoid GBMs (R-GBMs). E-GBMs tended to be superficially located, circumscribed, supratentorial tumors composed of monotonous, discohesive sheets of small rounded cells that mimicked metastatic malignant melanoma. R-GBMs showed tumor with classic rhabdoid features arising as a subpopulation of an otherwise classic GBM, fitting the definition of composite extrarenal rhabdoid tumors. Polyphenotypic immunohistochemical expression and focal loss of INI-1 protein in the rhabdoid areas of R-GBMs distinguished them from E-GBMs. Monosomy 22 was identified in R-GBMs, but not E-GBMs. Immunostaining for claudin-6, a key component of tight junctions that we have earlier shown to be a positive cytoplasmic immunohistochemical marker for atypical teratoid or rhabdoid tumors (AT/RTs), was also conducted. None of the E-GBMs or R-GBMs showed claudin-6 cytoplasmic expression, including the focal areas in the 2 R-GBMs in which there was loss of INI-1 protein nuclear expression. Thus, in the CNS, claudin-6 expression may be a good discriminator of atypical teratoid or rhabdoid tumors from other CNS rhabdoid or epithelioid neoplasms.

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