Characterization of the smooth muscle cell infiltrate and associated connective matrix of lymphangiomyomatosis. Immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study of two cases

J Pathol. 1992 Dec;168(4):387-95. doi: 10.1002/path.1711680409.


Lymphangiomyomatosis (LAM) consists of smooth muscle (SM) cell proliferation of unknown origin involving the lymph nodes and the lung interstitium. From morphological studies showing both SM differentiation of the proliferating cells and lymphatic hyperplasia, hypotheses were suggested concerning the origin of the proliferation. Two cases of LAM were investigated by electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry; tissues were obtained by lymph node and open lung biopsies. Cytoplasmic and matrix protein markers were used in order to clarify the pattern of differentiation of the proliferating cells and to characterize their connective tissue environment. The proliferating cells present ultrastructural characteristics of SM cells; they contain vimentin, desmin, and alpha-SM actin and are devoid of Factor VIII, favouring a parieto-arterial origin. The connective tissue matrix inside the infiltrate is composed of interstitial collagens and basement membrane components. At the late stage of the disease, remodelling of the interstitial matrix accompanies the infiltrate and remains perilesional.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / analysis
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Lung / chemistry
  • Lung / ultrastructure*
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Lung Neoplasms / ultrastructure*
  • Lymph Nodes / ultrastructure
  • Lymphangiomyoma / chemistry
  • Lymphangiomyoma / ultrastructure*
  • Muscle, Smooth / ultrastructure*


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins