Rhabdoid Features in Leiomyosarcoma of Soft Tissue: With Special Reference to Aggressive Behavior

Mod Pathol. 2000 Nov;13(11):1211-8. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3880225.


The presence of rhabdoid cells has been reported in various types of malignant neoplasms and has been determined to be a predictor of aggressive behavior of neoplasms regardless of tumor histogenesis. One hundred and thirteen cases of leiomyosarcoma, selected from 1800 soft tissue sarcomas, were reviewed on hematoxylin and eosin sections, and immunohistochemical staining when available, and seven cases with rhabdoid features were retrieved. Clinicopathologic differences were analyzed to compare between cases with rhabdoid features and those without rhabdoid features. In the seven cases with rhabdoid features, two were intra-abdominal, and the others arose in external soft tissues including muscle, subcutis, and cutis. Patient age ranged from 33 to 84 years, three were female, and four were male. Tumor size ranged from 3 to 22 cm. Clinical evidence showed no differences from those cases without rhabdoid features. Histologically, one of the abdominal cases was epithelioid leiomyosarcoma. Two of the 7 cases were better subclassified as pleomorphic leiomyosarcoma, in which rhabdoid cells are diffusely scattered. In cases other than those with pleomorphic leiomyosarcomas, foci of anaplastic areas were observed, and collections of rhabdoid cells were present in those areas. Immunohistochemical examination of the cases confirmed myogenic differentiation, and showed rhabdoid cells being positive for vimentin and desmin in the inclusion bodies, and diffusely so for muscle actin in the cytoplasm. After dividing all the cases of leiomyosarcoma by their location, prognostic analysis was performed. Leiomyosarcoma of external soft tissue with rhabdoid cells showed a tendency for poorer prognoses than cases without rhabdoid features. On the contrary, retroperitoneal cases did not. This study indicates that rhabdoid features are associated with aggressive biological behavior in leiomyosarcoma of the external soft tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Leiomyosarcoma / chemistry
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology*
  • Leiomyosarcoma / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / chemistry
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / pathology*
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / therapy
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Neoplasm Proteins