, Volume 449, Issue 5, pp 591-596
Date: 19 Sep 2006

Primary hepatic lymphoma with spindle cell components: a case report

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Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with spindle cell components is extremely rare and often misdiagnosed as carcinoma or sarcoma. Here, we present a case of primary DLBCL with spindle cell components arising in the liver, for which a preoperative diagnosis by needle biopsies was unsuccessful. The patient was a 70-year-old man with a continuous cough. Thoracic computed tomography incidentally detected a mass of 5 cm in diameter in his liver. The initial and second needle biopsies from the liver mass were pathologically diagnosed as suspicious for sarcomatoid hepatocellular carcinoma. He underwent an extended left hepatectomy. Histological examination revealed a diffuse or epithelioid arrangement of round and polygonal cells, mixed with the fascicles of spindle-shaped cells. Immunohistochemically, all the morphological types of tumor cells showed positive reactions for a lymphocytic marker (CD45RB) and B-cell markers (CD20 and CD79a). Double-immunostaining revealed that the spindle-shaped tumor cells expressed CD20, but never expressed alpha-smooth muscle actin. Malignant lymphoma with a spindle cell morphology is quite uncommon, and this variant can be a diagnostic pitfall, especially in tiny biopsy specimens. We emphasize that pathologists should be reminded of lymphoma as a differential diagnosis of spindle cell tumors.