, Volume 48, Issue 6, pp 565-569

Immunohistochemical Diagnosis of a Rare Case of Epithelioid Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor with Multiple Metastases

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Abstract

Background

The epithelioid variant of malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor (MPNST) is a rare tumor with poor prognosis that sometimes involves the head and neck. The diagnosis is based principally on the histological examination, and it is generally very difficult to reach the correct diagnosis.

Case

An 84-year-old Japanese woman presented with a tumor mass of 2 week’s duration in the right medial canthal region.

Observations

Although the tumor was excised surgically, metastases occurred three times on her face and head, and the patient died of distant systemic multiple metastases. In the histopathological analysis, the tumor showed a composite pattern comprising spindle or polygonal cells arranged in irregular bands, and a population of larger epithelioid cells in solid sheets and nests. In the immunohistochemical analysis, the tumor cells were positive for S-100 protein, vimentin, and nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR), and negative for cytokeratin and HMB 45 (melanoma-associated antigen). These findings confirmed the diagnosis of MPNST.

Conclusions

Epithelioid MPNST has complex histopathological findings and histopathological features similar to other epithelioid tumors, especially malignant melanoma. Immunohistochemical examination using NGFR and HMB-45 is important in the differential diagnosis. Jpn J Ophthalmol 2004;48:565–569 ©Japanese Ophthalmological Society 2004