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Low-grade abdominopelvic sarcoma with myofibroblastic features (low-grade myofibroblastic sarcoma): clinicopathological, immunohistochemical, molecular genetic and ultrastructural study of two cases with literature review


Aims: Low-grade myofibroblastic sarcoma (LGMS) represents a rare soft tissue neoplasm with a predilection for the head and neck. Intra-abdominal LGMS are rare with only four unequivocal examples reported so far. Two further cases in females in their 60s and 70s are analysed here.

Methods: Immunohistochemical stains were applied on fresh-cut sections using the avidin–biotin complex method and the following antibodies: vimentin, α-SMA, desmin, h-caldesmon, S-100, CD117, CD34, fibronectin, HMB45, Pan-keratin, Ki-67, β-catenin, MDM2, PDGFRα, PDGFRβ and ALK-1. Genomic DNA was isolated from microdissected formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumour tissue and examined for KIT and PDGFRA mutations by PCR and direct sequencing of KIT and PDGFRA. Ultrastructural studies were also performed.

Results: The tumours arose in the mesentery and the pelvic peritoneum. Both revealed features intermediate between conventional fibrosarcoma and leiomyosarcoma with fascicles of spindled, stellated or plump cells possessing fusiform indented vesicular nuclei and pale eosinophilic cytoplasm. Mitotic activity ranged from 1 to 15 per 10 HPFs. The tumour cells strongly expressed vimentin, variably α-smooth muscle actin and fibronectin, but were negative for CD117, S-100, desmin, h-caldesmon, β-catenin, ALK-1, MDM2, PDGFRα and PDGFRβ. One tumour showed a weak expression of CD34. Molecular analysis revealed a wild-type KIT, exons 9, 11 and 13, and PDGFRA, exons 12 and 18. The patients developed multiple peritoneal recurrences at 5, 13 and 25 months, and 10, 19, 25 and 32 months, and were alive at 25 and 32 months, respectively. Distant metastases were not detected.

Conclusion: Abdominopelvic LGMS follows a more aggressive clinical course characterised by a higher propensity for local recurrence, contrasting their more superficially located counterparts. LGMS may mimic a variety of benign and low-grade malignant neoplasms and might be under-recognised.

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