alexa Sarcomas of the great vessels. A clinicopathologic study.


Angiology: Open Access

Author(s): Burke AP

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There are few reports comparing the clinicopathologic features of sarcomas of the aorta (SA), sarcomas of the inferior vena cava (SIVC), and sarcomas of the pulmonary artery (SPA).


The authors retrospectively reviewed 11 SA, 16 SIVC, and 16 SPA, and compared clinical, pathologic, and immunohistochemical findings.


The mean age at presentation for SA was 62.3 +/- 17.3 years versus 41.3 +/- 17.1 for SPA; mean age for SIVC was 49.9 +/- 18.8. Nine of 11 SA and 14 of 16 SPA were grossly confined to the lumen, compared with only two SIVC. Luminal sarcomas were classified as poorly differentiated (intimal), angiosarcoma or leiomyosarcoma. Eight SA, 13 SPA, and one SIVC were of the intimal type and were composed of fibroblastic or myofibroblastic cells; five had "storiform" areas typical of malignant fibrous histiocytoma, and all had areas of necrosis. Intimal SPA were more likely myxoid than SA, and osteosarcomatous differentiation was present only in SPA (three cases). Intimal sarcomas were negative for desmin, Factor VIII-related antigen, S-100 protein, and CD34/QBend; all were positive for vimentin and most showed positive cells for smooth muscle actin. One luminal SA and one luminal SPA were histologically typical of angiosarcoma. Two SPA, 2 SA, and 14 SIVC were predominantly mural, most of which were leiomyosarcomas. The mean survival of intimal SA was poor (5 months), compared with 37 months for SIVC and 23 months for intimal SPA.


SA, SPA, and SIVC differ in their clinical presentation and survival. Most SA and SPA sarcomas are aggressive, probably derived from intimal cells that show myofibroblastic differentiation. SIVC are usually derived from medial smooth muscle and are relatively well differentiated leiomyosarcomas.

This article was published in Cancer and referenced in Angiology: Open Access

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