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Am J Otol. 1995 Mar;16(2):146-52.

Adenomatous lesions of the temporal bone immunohistochemical analysis and theories of histogenesis.

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Department of Otolaryngology and Communicative Disorders, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195-5034, USA.


Adenomatous lesions of the temporal bone represent a diverse group of neoplasms. At least three histopathologic patterns have been described: glandular; ribbon-like, or "festooning;" and aggressive papillary. Combinations of glandular and ribbon-like histologies in the same lesion are not uncommon. The glandular and ribbon-like histologies have been associated with carcinoid tumors, and the aggressive papillary tumor has been considered a separate entity. Recently, the endolymphatic sac has been proposed as the site of origin of the aggressive papillary lesions. Previous reports have described neuroendocrine properties with characteristics embracing the three histologic types. The authors postulate that the neural crest is the site of origin of this unusual group of neoplasms. Immunohistochemical analysis on the pathologic specimens of patients with adenomatous lesions of the temporal bone was performed to test this hypothesis. From 1975 to 1992 seven patients were treated at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation with a diagnosis of middle ear adenoma. A panel of special stains for neuroectodermal markers, including synaptophysin, chromogranin, neuron specific enolase, calcitonin, and serotonin was used on the paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed specimens. Three lesions were also evaluated by electron microscopy, all demonstrating dense core, intracytoplasmic granules. Three ribbon-like tumors were positive for synaptophysin and chromogranin, and two of these were positive for serotonin. One glandular tumor was positive for synaptophysin, and an aggressive papillary tumor was positive for synaptophysin and neuron specific enolase. An additional papillary tumor was referred following a third recurrence without accompanying immunohistochemical data. Cholesteatoma-like material was identified with a few glandular cells interspersed, all negative by immunohistochemical evaluation. The seventh specimen, initially diagnosed as papillary adenoma on light microscopy, was not studied by the aforementioned stains, and was later identified as a papilloma of sinonasal origin. The neural crest gives rise to pluripotential stem cells with widespread anatomic distribution, including the temporal bone. Because immunomarkers used in this study are specific for neuroectodermal differentiation, results suggest that temporal bone adenomas have neuroendocrine characteristics and could be derived from the specialized neuroectoderm of the neural crest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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