Cytologic findings of malignant vascular neoplasms: a study of twenty-four cases

Diagn Cytopathol. 2002 Jun;26(6):349-55. doi: 10.1002/dc.10119.


Cytologic characterization of malignant vascular neoplasms (MVN) is difficult due to the wide range of differential diagnoses and sampling errors. The objective of this study was to identify criteria helpful in the cytologic diagnosis of MVN. The clinical presentation and cytomorphologic features of 22 angiosarcomas and two hemangioendotheliomas were analyzed. The criteria evaluated included cellularity, cellular arrangement, cell shape and size, pleomorphism, cytoplasmic borders, nuclear shape and number, chromatin pattern, nucleoli, background, and presence of angioformative structures. A previous history of MVN was noted in 18 of 24 patients. Specimens with epithelioid morphology were more cellular and pleomorphic and contained multinucleated cells. Specimens with spindle morphology were usually less cellular and less pleomorphic. Angioformative structures were identified in 11 of 24 cases. Awareness of features suggestive of MVN is necessary to raise the possibility of vascular origin, which can be confirmed with appropriate immunocytochemical studies.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cytological Techniques
  • Female
  • Hemangioendothelioma / pathology*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged