Cytokeratin expression in epithelioid vascular neoplasms

Hum Pathol. 1990 Feb;21(2):212-7. doi: 10.1016/0046-8177(90)90131-n.


Seven epithelioid and eight non-epithelioid vascular tumors were studied by the avidin-biotin-peroxidase method for the presence of endothelial- and epithelial-associated markers, using Ulex europaeus agglutinin-1 (UEA-1) lectin, and antibodies directed against factor VIII-related antigen, (FVIII-RA), vimentin, keratin, carcinoembryonic antigen, and epithelial membrane antigen. The cases included four epithelioid hemangiomas, two epithelioid hemangioendotheliomas (EHE), one epithelioid angiosarcoma (EAS), four common non-epithelioid capillary hemangiomas, and four non-epithelioid angiosarcomas. Staining for FVIII-RA, UEA-1, and vimentin were observed in all cases. The EAS showed staining for keratin in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections and in frozen sections. Staining for keratin was also observed in frozen sections of one EHE. Both keratin-positive vascular tumors were confirmed with electron microscopy. Carcinoembryonic antigen and epithelial membrane antigen stains were negative in all cases. Our results show that the epithelioid vascular tumors EHE and EAS, in addition to staining for the endothelial markers and vimentin, may also express the epithelial marker keratin. This is important since these tumors may closely resemble carcinomas by routine light microscopy. This study further underscores the importance of using a broad panel of immunohistochemical markers in the diagnostic workup of soft-tissue neoplasms.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor*
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / analysis
  • Epithelium
  • Hemangioendothelioma / analysis
  • Hemangioendothelioma / pathology
  • Hemangioma / analysis
  • Hemangioma / pathology*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / analysis
  • Hemangiosarcoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Keratins / analysis
  • Lectins / analysis
  • Leg / pathology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Mucin-1
  • Plant Lectins*
  • Skin / pathology
  • Vimentin / analysis
  • von Willebrand Factor / analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Lectins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Mucin-1
  • Plant Lectins
  • Ulex europaeus lectins
  • Vimentin
  • von Willebrand Factor
  • Keratins