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Tampa, FL, United States

McNab P.M.,University of South Florida | Quigley B.C.,University of South Florida | Glass L.F.,ee Moffitt Cancer Center | Jukic D.M.,University of South Florida | Jukic D.M.,Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service
American Journal of Dermatopathology | Year: 2013

Hemangioendotheliomas are vascular neoplasms occupying a spectrum of biological potential ranging from benign to low-grade malignancy. Composite hemangioendothelioma (CH) is one of the less commonly encountered variants exhibiting a mixture of elements of other hemangioendothelioma subtypes, such as epithelioid, retiform, and spindle cell. Some authors have identified areas histopathologically equivalent to angiosarcoma within CH, raising the question of the true nature of this neoplasm. Although CH recurs locally, there are only 3 reported cases which metastasized. To date, 26 cases (including the present case) have been described in the literature. Herein, we describe a unique case of CH arising in the background of previous radiation therapy and long-standing lymphedema (classically associated with the development of angiosarcoma - Stewart-Treves syndrome) that harbored higher grade areas but behaved as a low-grade malignant neoplasm. This, in conjunction with the many reported cases of CH-harboring angiosarcoma-like areas, and the occasional association with a history of lymphedema, raises the question of whether this variant of hemangioendothelioma may actually be an angiosarcoma that behaves prognostically better than the conventional type. After careful study of the natural disease progression of the current case and review of the literature, we discuss justification for the continued classification of CH as a low-grade malignancy. © 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

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