Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Diagnostic utility of ERG immunostaining in dermatofibroma
  1. Yuichi Yamada1,
  2. Toshio Ichiki1,
  3. Yosuke Susuki1,
  4. Yui Yamada-Nozaki1,
  5. Yuki Tateishi1,
  6. Masutaka Furue2,
  7. Yoshinao Oda1
  1. 1 Department of Anatomic Pathology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  2. 2 Department of Dermatology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Professor Yoshinao Oda, Department of Anatomic Pathology, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan; oda.yoshinao.389{at}


Aims Dermatofibroma/fibrous histiocytoma (DF/FH) is a common cutaneous mesenchymal neoplasm exhibiting benign biological behaviour. However, the immunohistochemical utility of erythroblast transformation-specific-related gene (ERG) for diagnosing DF remains unknown. The authors reviewed the immunohistochemical status of ERG in different subtypes of DF and in its differential diagnoses.

Methods Overall, 97 cases of ordinary DF/FH, 6 cases of aneurysmal FH, 10 cases of cellular FH, 5 cases of angiomatoid FH, 2 cases of epithelioid FH, 64 cases of dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP) and 52 cases of fibrous scar were retrieved. As the other histological types of cutaneous neoplasms, 6 cases of myxofibrosarcoma, 4 cases of undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, 11 cases of atypical fibroxanthoma, 19 cases of malignant melanoma, 20 cases of nevocellular nevus, 20 cases of neurofibroma, 19 cases of schwannoma, 8 cases of angioleiomyoma and 1 case of pilar leiomyoma were included.

Results Immunohistochemical positivity for ERG was demonstrated in 87 of 97 cases (89.6%) of ordinary DF/FH, 7 of 10 cases (70%) of cellular FH, 3 of 6 cases (50%) of aneurysmal FH, 1 of 5 cases (20%) of angiomatoid FH and 1 of 52 cases (0.1%) of fibrous scar. All cases of DFSP, epithelioid FH and other types of cutaneous neoplasms included in the current investigation were negative for ERG. The intensity of ERG immunohistochemical staining in spindle-shaped cells appeared weaker than that in endothelial cells.

Conclusions DF/FH was frequently positive for ERG immunostaining. ERG immunostaining may thus be useful to distinguish DF/FH from DFSP.

  • soft tissue neoplasms
  • skin neoplasms
  • immunohistochemistry

Data availability statement

No data are available.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Data availability statement

No data are available.

View Full Text


  • Handling editor Runjan Chetty.

  • Contributors YO, as guarrantor, accepts full responsibility for the work and/or the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish. YY performed the research and wrote the paper. TI, YS, YY-N, YT and MF contributed to sample collection and research design. YO designed the research and gave final approval of the manuscript. All authors critically reviewed and approved the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by a JSPS KAKEN grant (no: 19H03444).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.