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Abstract

Monospecific antibodies and indirect immunofluorescence microscopy were used to investigate the presence of cytoskeletal intermediate filaments of the keratin, vimentin and desmin types in 43 soft-tissue sarcomas. The results showed that vimentin was present in the neoplastic cells of all types of soft-tissue sarcomas studied, whereas keratin was absent, the only exception being the epithelial-like cells in biphasic synovial sarcoma. The presence of desmin was confined to leiomyosarcomas and rhabdomyosarcomas, which usually showed desmin-positivity. In addition, malignant fibrous histiocytomas occasionally displayed some desmin-positive cells. Thus, determination of intermediate filaments is of aid in the histogenetical diagnosis of tumors, because keratin-positivity largely excludes the possibility of a sarcoma, and desmin-positivity aids in recognizing leiomyosarcomas and rhabdomyosarcomas.