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Am J Surg Pathol. 2010 May;34(5):707-14. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181d74bdb.

Cellular angiofibroma with atypia or sarcomatous transformation: clinicopathologic analysis of 13 cases.

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Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard University Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Cellular angiofibroma is a mesenchymal neoplasm that is characterized by a bland spindle cell component, morphologically reminiscent of spindle cell lipoma, and thick-walled vessels. The tumor occurs equally in men and women and usually arises in the inguino-scrotal or vulvovaginal regions. An earlier study of 51 cases from our group showed that the tumor follows a benign course without any tendency for recurrence. In 1 case, an intralesional microscopic nodule of pleomorphic liposarcoma was observed. The biologic significance of atypia or sarcomatous transformation in cellular angiofibroma remains uncertain. In this study, we characterized clinicopathologic features in 13 cases of cellular angiofibroma with morphologic atypia or sarcomatous transformation. Thirteen cases with atypia or sarcomatous transformation among 154 usual cellular angiofibromas identified between 1993 and 2009 were retrieved from consultation files. There were 12 females and 1 male ranging in age from 39 to 71 years (median age, 46 y). Tumor size ranged from 1.2 to 7.5 cm. In 11 cases, the tumors occurred in the vulva. One case each occurred in the paratesticular and hip regions. Most tumors were located in subcutaneous tissue. There were 4 cases of cellular angiofibroma with atypia. Three showed severely atypical cells as scattered foci within the cellular angiofibroma. One case showed a discrete nodule of atypical cells. There were 9 cases of cellular angiofibroma with morphologic features of sarcomatous transformation. In each case, abrupt transition to a discrete sarcomatous component was seen. Of these 9 cases, the sarcomatous component in 2 cases showed features of pleomorphic liposarcoma with multivacuolated lipoblasts readily identified. Three of these 9 cases showed discrete nodule(s) closely resembling atypical lipomatous tumor within usual cellular angiofibroma. In the remaining 4 cases, the sarcomatous component was composed of pleomorphic spindle cells arranged in various patterns. By immunohistochemistry, atypical cells and sarcomatous areas showed either multifocal or more diffuse p16 expression compared with either scattered or negative expression in the conventional cellular angiofibroma. The 3 cases with atypical lipomatous tumor-like areas were negative for MDM-2 and CDK4. Follow-up information was available for 7 patients (range from 2 to 75 mo; median: 14 mo). Six patients did not develop recurrence or metastasis. One patient died of metastatic carcinoma of unknown primary site 27 months after the diagnosis of cellular angiofibroma with sarcomatous transformation. Cellular angiofibroma with atypia or morphologic sarcomatous transformation occurs predominantly in the subcutaneous tissue of the vulva and, as yet, shows no evident tendency to recur based on limited clinical follow-up available for 7 cases. The sarcomatous component can show variable features including atypical lipomatous tumor, pleomorphic liposarcoma, and pleomorphic sarcoma NOS. Overexpression of p16 in the atypical cells and sarcomatous component suggests a possible underlying molecular mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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