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Hum Pathol. 2013 Dec;44(12):2751-9. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2013.07.022. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

Association of D2-40 and MMP-1 expression with cyst formation in lung metastatic lesions of cutaneous angiosarcoma on the scalp: immunohistochemical analysis of 23 autopsy cases.

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Department of Dermatology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-0374, Japan. Electronic address:


Cutaneous angiosarcoma of the scalp can rapidly develop into pulmonary metastasis. The pulmonary metastatic lesions display a unique appearance, so-called thin-walled cysts, which cause a fatal relapsed pneumothorax by rupturing. We analyzed 23 autopsy cases of angiosarcoma with pulmonary metastasis to elucidate the mechanism of the thin-walled cyst development. Of the 23 cases of cutaneous angiosarcoma of the scalp with pulmonary metastasis, radiological examination revealed pulmonary metastatic lesions as thin-walled cysts (39%), nodules (39%), mixed cysts and nodules (13%), and ground-glass opacity (9%). All the cases but one with cystic metastases were complicated by pneumothorax. The cystic lesions were accompanied by podoplanin (D2-40)-positive tumor cells in the luminal surface of the cysts. In both primary cutaneous lesions and pulmonary metastatic lesions, the D2-40 expression was positive for angiosarcoma cells in 100% and 92% of the cases, respectively. While the estrogen-regulated gene (ERG) expression was also positive for most of the primary and metastatic pulmonary angiosarcomas, D2-40 was a more useful marker to differentiate tumor cells from the background than was the ERG expression of the vascular endothelium. Matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) expression was also predominant in primary lesions (95%) and pulmonary metastatic lesions (82.6%). Proteinases, like MMP-1, might be associated with a developing thin-walled cyst, although there were no differences in the MMP-1 expression in either the cystic or nodular metastasis. Two extremely aggressive cases showed cystic metastasis with central necrosis that was not observed in other cases. These results suggest a pathogenesis of thin-walled cysts in some progressive cases.


Angiosarcoma; Lung metastasis; Matrix metalloproteinase-1; Podoplanin; Thin-walled cyst

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