Identification of lymphatic endothelium in pediatric vascular tumors and malformations

Pediatr Dev Pathol. 2005 Mar-Apr;8(2):181-9. doi: 10.1007/s10024-004-8104-9. Epub 2005 Feb 23.


The distinction between lymphatic and other vascular vessels on microscopic sections is a challenging task. D2-40, a novel antibody, has been reported to be selective for lymphatic endothelium. We studied the specificity and sensitivity of D2-40 in pediatric vascular tumors and malformations. Fourteen lymphatic and 11 vascular lesions were randomly selected and stained with D2-40 and CD31 antibodies. The lymphatic lesions included 6 lymphatic malformations, 5 cystic hygromas (macrocystic lymphatic malformation), 2 lymphovenous malformations, and 1 lymphangioma, and the vascular lesions comprised 3 infantile hemangiomas, 3 Kaposiform hemangioendotheliomas, 2 tufted angiomas, 1 pyogenic granuloma, 1 arteriovenous, and 1 venulocapillary malformations. The staining patterns of the vascular channels were compared. In all lesions D2-40 labeled only the endothelium of thin-walled vascular channels morphologically consistent with lymphatic vessels (25 of 25). No staining of the vascular lesions (0 of 11) or of arteries and veins (0 of 25) was observed. All lymphatic lesions had D2-40-positive vessels; however, the percentage of vessels that stained varied. Five lymphatic lesions showed more than 75% D2-40-positive channels, 5 lesions had approximately 50%, and 4 cases showed fewer than 25% D2-40-positive channels. There was a tendency of more consistent D2-40 staining of small versus large lymphatic channels. CD31 constantly labeled arteries, veins, capillaries, and lymphatics in all lesions and all endothelial cells in the vascular lesions. D2-40 is a very specific antibody for lymphatic endothelium, with variable sensitivity. CD31 more reliably identifies lymphatic endothelium. Currently, D2-40 appears to be a good marker to identify lymphatic vessels in pediatric vascular tumors and malformations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal* / immunology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Endothelium, Lymphatic / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Lymphatic / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lymphatic Vessel Tumors / metabolism
  • Lymphatic Vessel Tumors / pathology*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / abnormalities*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / metabolism
  • Male
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers