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      Spontaneous rupture of primary splenic angiosarcoma: a case report and literature review

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          Primary angiosarcoma of the spleen is a rare mesenchymal malignant tumor of vascular origin often with a poor prognosis, due to its high metastatic potential. This disease often presents with atraumatic rupture and lethal hemorrhage.

          Case presentation

          We report a case of a 65-year-old man who presented with abdominal pain, anemia, thrombocytopenia, and palpable abdominal mass with unstable blood pressure. Laparotomy revealed a huge actively bleeding spleen, thus splenectomy was performed. Some liver metastasis foci were also found during the procedure. Histopathology diagnosis of the removed spleen was primary splenic angiosarcoma. The patient was discharged on the 10th day post operation with no complication.


          Splenic angiosarcoma should be considered one of the differential diagnoses in patients with spleen parenchymal lesions. Definitive diagnosis requires laparotomy followed by splenectomy. In the majority of the patients with spleen angiosarcoma, metastatic diseases have already occurred at the time of laparotomy, so splenectomy is an approach more for diagnostic purpose rather than curative purpose.

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          Most cited references 28

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          Primary angiosarcoma of the spleen. A clinicopathologic study of 40 cases.

          Forty primary splenic angiosarcomas occurring in 21 men and 19 women, 19-84 years old (median 59 years) are reported. Patients presented with splenomegaly (35 of 38, 92%), abdominal pain (33 of 40, 83%), and systemic symptoms such as fatigue (2 of 40, 5%), fever (4 of 40, 10%), and/or weight loss (16 of 40, 40%). Five (13%) experienced splenic rupture associated with hemoperitoneum. Abnormal laboratory findings included cytopenia (31 of 34, 91%), leukocytosis (8 of 21, 38%), and thrombocytosis (1/39, 3%). Most spleens weighed 500-1,000 g (mean, 1,180 g). The cut splenic surfaces showed multiple hemorrhagic nodules that were frequently associated with infarction, although some had a diffuse pattern of involvement. Microscopically, there were a variety of histologic patterns displayed by the vasoformative component. A honeycomb or sponge-like pattern was common in some, whereas others simulated a cavernous hemangioma or normal splenic sinuses (pseudosinusoidal pattern). Papillary endothelial tufts and solid proliferations of spindled to round to epithelioid cells were also seen. Factor VIII-related antigen was detected in 19 of 23 cases, BMA-120 in 18 of 23, UEA-1 receptor in 18 of 23, and vimentin in 23 of 23 as well as CD68 antigen in 1 of 23 cases. S-100 protein and cytokeratin were not found in any of the 23 cases studied. Metastases in 22 of 32 patients (69%) were to the liver (13 patients), bone or bone marrow (7 patients), lymph nodes (1 patient), and brain (1 patient). Three patients had concomitant malignancies and one had a prior history of a mixed B-cell lymphoma 5 years previously that had been treated with chemotherapy. Follow-up in 38 patients revealed that 30 (79%) are dead at a median interval of 6 months (range 0-48 months) and 8 are alive 5-21 months after diagnosis. These findings indicate that splenic angiosarcoma is an aggressive neoplasm with a high metastatic rate and an abysmal prognosis. Recognition of the wide range of histologic patterns is of diagnostic value but no apparent prognostic significance.
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            Splenic angiosarcoma: a clinicopathologic and immunophenotypic study of 28 cases.

            Primary angiosarcoma of the spleen is a rare neoplasm that has not been well characterized. We describe the clinical, morphologic, and immunophenotypic findings of 28 cases of primary splenic angiosarcoma, including one case that shares features of lymphangioma/lymphangiosarcoma. The patients included 16 men and 12 women, aged 29 to 85 years, with a mean of 59 years and median of 63 years. The majority of patients (75%) complained of abdominal pain, and 25% presented with splenic rupture. The most common physical finding was splenomegaly (71%). Seventeen of 21 patients were reported to have anemia. Macroscopic examination showed splenomegaly in 85% cases. Sectioning revealed discrete lesions in 88% of cases, ranging from well-circumscribed firm nodules to poorly delineated foci of necrosis and hemorrhage associated with cystic spaces. Microscopically, the tumors were heterogenous; however, all cases demonstrated at least a focal vasoformative component lined by atypical endothelial cells. Solid sarcomatous, papillary, and epithelioid growth patterns were observed. The solid sarcomatous component resembled fibrosarcoma in two cases and malignant fibroushistiocytoma in one case. Hemorrhage, necrosis, hemosiderin, extramedullary hematopoiesis, and intracytoplasmic hyaline globules were frequently identified. A panel of immunohistochemical studies revealed that the majority of tumors were immunoreactive for at least two markers of vascular differentiation (CD34, FVIIIRAg, VEGFR3, and CD31) and at least one marker of histiocytic differentiation (CD68 and/or lysozyme). Metastases developed in 100% of patients during the course of their disease. Twenty-six patients died of disease despite aggressive therapy, whereas only two patients are alive at last follow-up, one with disease at 8 years and the other without disease at 10 years. In conclusion, primary splenic angiosarcoma is an extremely aggressive neoplasm that is almost universally fatal. The majority of splenic angiosarcomas coexpress histiocytic and endothelial markers by immunohistochemical analysis, which suggest that some tumors may originate from splenic lining cells.
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              Angiosarcoma of the spleen: imaging characteristics in 12 patients.

              To retrospectively review clinical, pathologic, and imaging features of angiosarcoma of the spleen in 12 patients. Institutional review board approval was obtained, and informed consent was not required. Records of 12 cases of proved angiosarcoma of the spleen were accessed from the files of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Clinical, pathologic, and imaging findings were reviewed. Presenting signs and symptoms were recorded, and the pathologist confirmed the diagnosis and determined gross and microscopic morphologic findings in each spleen. Radiologists reviewed available images to determine the size of the spleen and mass, amount of splenic involvement by the tumor (if enhanced at computed tomography [CT] and magnetic resonance [MR] imaging), and amount of nonviable tumor determined as decreased echogenicity at ultrasonography (US) and lack of enhancement at CT and MR imaging. Imaging and pathologic findings were compared. Five US, 10 CT, three MR, and two angiographic images were reviewed by two experienced abdominal radiologists. There were seven men and five women (age range, 36-86 years; mean, 55 years). The most common symptom was upper abdominal pain in eight (67%) patients: Pain was acute for 24 hours prior to admission in one patient and chronic (range, 1-6 months) in seven patients. At imaging, the spleen was enlarged (>12 cm in length) in nine patients. The most common finding, seen in seven (58%) patients, was a complex mass or masses in an enlarged spleen. Four of these patients had evidence of metastases and one had intraperitoneal hemorrhage. Two patients had solitary hypervascular tumors and liver metastases. One patient had a normal-sized spleen with multiple lesions that ranged 2-3 cm in size, as well as metastases to the spine. The 11th patient had two small lesions, with small calcifications in the periphery of one lesion. The 12th patient had intraabdominal hemorrhage around the spleen and no obvious mass at CT. Tumor necrosis was confirmed at histologic evaluation in nine patients. The most common clinical finding was upper abdominal pain. Angiosarcoma of the spleen could be suggested in the majority of cases (83%) by using the imaging features of splenic mass with evidence of metastatic disease. (c) RSNA, 2005

                Author and article information

                World J Surg Oncol
                World J Surg Oncol
                World Journal of Surgical Oncology
                BioMed Central
                4 March 2013
                : 11
                : 53
                [1 ]Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, 185 Juqian Street, 213000, Changzhou, Jiangsu, China
                Copyright ©2013 Duan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Case Report


                neoplasm metastasis, sarcoma, spleen


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