, Volume 456, Issue 1, pp 71-76
Date: 25 Nov 2009

Multinucleated floret-like giant cells in sporadic and NF1-associated neurofibromas: a clinicopathologic study of 94 cases

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Multinucleated floret-like giant cells (MNFGCs), similar to those commonly observed in pleomorphic lipoma and giant cell fibroblastoma, have been occasionally reported in gynecomastia and neurofibromas from patients affected by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Accordingly, it has been suggested that their detection, especially in an otherwise typical neurofibroma, could be a morphological clue to diagnosis of NF1. The aim of the present study was the identification of MNFGCs in a large series (94 cases) of sporadic and NF1-associated neurofibromas, to assess if their presence may indeed be a morphological marker of NF1. Numerous MNFGCs, namely, those that were easily apparent at low magnification (×50 and ×100), were identified only in 5.3% of cases. In 18.1% of cases, a low number of these cells could be observed but only after a careful search, especially at higher magnification (×200 and ×400). Immunohistochemically, all MNFGCs were stained with vimentin and CD34, but not with S-100 protein. Interestingly, there was no statistically significant correlation between MNFGCs (presence or absence) and NF1 (p = 0.73), gender (p = 0.59), age (p = 0.43), and site of tumor (cutaneous vs deep-seated soft tissue; p = 0.27). Our clinicopathologic findings suggest that MNFGCs in an otherwise typical neurofibroma are not a reliable marker of NF1, likely representing a morphological reactive change of the indigenous dermal or endoneurial fibroblasts or dendritic cells in response to unknown microenvironmental stimuli.