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Ultrastruct Pathol. 1988 Mar-Apr;12(2):235-43.

Paraganglioma of the cauda equina: an ultrastructural and immunohistochemical study of two cases.

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First Department of Pathology, University of Tokushima School of Medicine, Japan.


The ultrastructural and immunohistochemical features of 2 paragangliomas arising in the cauda equina are described. In both cases the tumor cells were arranged in small nests or cords and contained characteristic neurosecretory granules, lamellar stacks of rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), and some well-developed Golgi apparatuses in their cytoplasm. The cells varied in electron density; the darker cells, occasionally resembling sustentacular cells, were probably dehydrated light cells because they contained a few neurosecretory granules. Sustentacular cells were difficult to identify by electron microscopy, but irregularly distributed S-100 protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were found in these cells by immunostaining. Many tumor cells contained abundant neurofilaments. Curiously, a few cytokeratin-positive cells were found in 1 case. On microscopic examination, a small area of ganglioneuroma was found associated with the paraganglioma in 1 case. Ganglionic differentiation was concluded to be frequent in paragangliomas of the cauda equina region as in duodenal paragangliomas.

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