Pediatric cutaneous angiosarcomas: a clinicopathologic study of 10 cases

Am J Surg Pathol. 2011 Jan;35(1):70-5. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181ffd9d5.


Cutaneous angiosarcomas are rare tumors, which predominantly arise in the sun-exposed skin of the head and neck of adult and elderly patients. Rarely, these tumors can be seen in children. We identified cutaneous angiosarcomas in 10 children and assessed clinical (patient age, tumor site, tumor size, and tumor focality) and histologic features including growth pattern (vasoformative vs. solid), mitotic rate (mitotic figures per 10 high power field), necrosis (present vs. absent), and cell shape (epithelioid vs. nonepithelioid). Tumors predominated in the lower extremities (6 of 10) of female patients (2 male and 8 female); age at diagnosis ranged from 1.5 months to 15 years. Four patients had preexisting conditions: congenital hemihypertrophy of the contralateral limb, the Aicardi syndrome, congenital lymphedema, and congenital hemangioma treated with radiation therapy. Tumors were located in the lower extremity (6), flank (1), elbow (1), and buccal mucosa (1), and ranged in size from 0.6 to 6.5 cm. Eight cases showed predominantly epithelioid morphology, 1 case showed mixed epithelioid and spindled morphology and 1 case was entirely spindled. Mitotic activity ranged from 1 to 55 mitotic figures per 10 high power field. Necrosis was seen in 5 cases. Clinical follow-up was obtained for 9 patients: 4 died of disease (range, 12 to 49 mo; mean, 25 mo) and 5 patients were alive without disease (18 mo to 28 y). Five patients had metastatic disease; sites of involvement included the lung, soft tissue, lymph node, pleura, liver, and bone. Cutaneous angiosarcomas in children are rare tumors, which are commonly associated with a preexisting condition, suggesting a greater role for genetics as opposed to environmental factors in the pathogenesis of these tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epithelioid Cells / pathology
  • Extremities
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / mortality
  • Hemangiosarcoma / pathology*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mitosis
  • Necrosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / mortality
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome