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Braz Dent J. 2012;23(6):707-10.

Wilms Tumor 1 protein is not expressed in oral lymphangiomas.

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Department of Oral Surgery and Pathology, Dental School, UFMG - Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.


Lymphangiomas are benign hamartomatous lesions of lymphatic vessels. Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) is a transcription factor that is activated in some human neoplasias. WT1 protein expression is observed in endothelial cells during angiogenesis and is a useful marker to distinguish between vascular proliferations and vascular malformations. The purpose of the present study is to report a case series of oral lymphangiomas together with an immunohistochemical investigation of WT1. Seventeen cases of oral lymphangioma were retrieved and reviewed. Immunohistochemical analysis of WT1 protein was performed and pyogenic granuloma samples were used as positive controls. The male/female ratio was 1.125 and most of the lesions occurred in young subjects. While pyogenic granuloma showed positive staining for WT1, the endothelial cells lining the thin-walled dilated lymphatic vessels of lymphangiomas were negative for this protein. The findings strengthen the idea that oral lymphangioma is a vascular malformation characterized by lymphatic dilatation without significant endothelial proliferation.

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