Aberrant keratin expression is common in primary hepatic malignant vascular tumors: A potential diagnostic pitfall

Hee Eun Lee, Michael S. Torbenson, Tsung Teh Wu, Vishal S. Chandan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Malignant vascular neoplasms such as epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) and angiosarcoma (AS) can arise within the liver. The aim of this study was to study the expression of keratins CK7, AE1/AE3 and OSCAR in primary hepatic EHE and AS. 9 cases of hepatic EHE and 13 cases of hepatic AS were stained with ERG, CK7, keratin AE1/AE3 and keratin OSCAR. Their expression was graded as 1+ (1–25% of tumor cells positive), 2+ (26–50%), 3+ (51–75%) or 4+ (>75%). ERG was positive in all 9 (100%) EHEs and all 13 (100%) ASs. CK7 was positive in 5/9 (56%) EHEs (2, 1+; 1, 2+; 1, 3+; 1, 4+) and 1/13 (8%) AS (2+). Keratin OSCAR was positive in 6/9 (67%) EHEs (5, 1+; 1, 2+) and 4/13 (31%) ASs (2, 1+; 1, 2+; 1, 4+). Keratin AE1/AE3 was positive in 6/9 (67%) EHEs (3, 1+; 3; 2+) and 4/13 (31%) ASs (2, 1+; 1, 2+; 1, 4+). Overall, 6/ 9 (67%) EHEs were positive for at least one keratin marker, of which 5 were positive for all 3 keratins (AE1/AE3, OSCAR and CK7) while 1 was positive only for 2 keratins (OSCAR and AE1/AE3). 4/13 (31%) of ASs were positive for both keratins OSCAR and AE1/AE3, of which 1 case was also positive for CK7. Aberrant keratin expression is common in primary hepatic EHEs (67%) and ASs (31%). Awareness of this diagnostic pitfall is important for avoiding misdiagnosis of these primary hepatic malignant vascular tumors as carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151589
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
Volume49
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Angiosarcoma
  • Epithelioid hemangioendothelioma
  • Keratin
  • Liver
  • Vascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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