The present manuscript gives emphasis on recognizing different morphological variants of atypical fibroxanthoma (AFX), on validation of immunohistochemical markers and on discussing potential diagnostic pitfalls.
Material and methods: Histological features analyzed in 66 AFXs were: ulceration, morphological variants, growth pattern, location in the skin and vascular/perineural invasion. The antibodies used were CK-MNF116, CK-AE1/AE3, S100, smooth muscle actin, desmin, CD31 and EMA.
Results: The study included 59 males, 7 females, aged 55–95 years, mean 77 years. All developed on sun damaged skin. Ulceration was present in 50%. Morphological patterns were pleomorphic spindle and epithelioid cells (60.6%), predominantly spindle cells (19.7%), purely spindle-cells (13.6%), and predominantly epithelioid cells (6.1%). Most were localized in the dermis (57.6%). An expansile (36.4%) rather than infiltrative (6.1%) growth into superficial subcutis was also noted. No vascular/perineural invasion was seen. Additional changes were hemorrhagic and pseudoangiomatous areas (24.2%), granular cell change (22.7%), keloid-like areas (9.1%), myxoid change (7.6%), osteoclast-like giant cells (6.1%) and clear cell change (4.6%). AFXs were consistently negative for S100, CK-MNF116, CK-AE1/AE3 and desmin. Focal positivity for SMA (45.2%), EMA (24.4%) and CD 31 (9.5%) was seen.
Conclusions: A diagnosis of AFX is still made by exclusion of other malignant neoplasms with similar morphology. Immunohistochemistry plays a crucial role in this distinction, but can also be misleading. This study expands the spectrum of non-vascular CD31 positive tumors.
Luzar B, Calonje E. Morphological and immunohistochemical characteristics of atypical fibroxanthoma with a special emphasis on potential diagnostic pitfalls.