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Am J Surg Pathol. 1994 Mar;18(3):302-8.

Glycogen-rich clear cell rhabdomyosarcoma of the mediastinum. Potential diagnostic pitfall.

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Department of Pathology, Sir Mortimer B. Davis-Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


A 63-year-old black man of Caribbean origin, seropositive for human T-cell lymphoma virus type I (HTLV-I), presented with a 4-week history of progressive dyspnea, and was found to have a tumor of the anterior mediastinum. Incisional biopsy revealed a malignant neoplasm with a solid pattern of glycogen-rich clear cells. Diffuse expression of vimentin was observed, whereas only rare cells were immunoreactive for muscle-specific actin and desmin. Ultrastructure revealed a large amount of mono-particulate glycogen in most cells and features of rhabdomyogenic differentiation in occasional cells. The autopsy revealed a 23 x 14-cm (1,345 g), soft and white mediastinal neoplasm bulging in the right thorax with right pleural metastases. HTLV-1 proviral genome was not detected within tumor cells by polymerase chain reaction. This rhabdomyosarcoma is best classified as the solid subtype of the alveolar variant, with an unusually large amount of cytoplasmic glycogen. Clear cell rhabdomyosarcoma could be potentially confused with more commonly encountered clear cell tumors, particularly in the mediastinum.

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