Primary cutaneous interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma (IDCS): Report of a new case and literature review

Pathol Res Pract. 2023 Jul:247:154559. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2023.154559. Epub 2023 May 19.


Interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma is a very rare entity in the spectrum of histiocytic and dendritic cell neoplasms that mostly occurs in lymph nodes, generally presenting as solitary lymphadenopathy, but may affect every organ. Among extra nodal sites, cutaneous interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma is exceedingly rare; to date, only 9 cases have been described in English literature. The mean age at diagnosis was 60 years, with a male-female ratio of 1,5 to 1; clinically, two different modalities of skin presentation have been reported: solitary, represented by a single red-brownish nodular lesion, or diffuse, characterized by multiple nodular lesions in one or more body districts. The extreme rarity of this sarcoma and its morphological similarity to other poorly differentiated tumors may lead to a delay in diagnosis; in particular, cutaneous localization may be difficult to differentiate from follicular dendritic cell sarcoma, Langerhans cell sarcoma, poorly differentiated squamous cell carcinoma and more generally sarcomatoid carcinoma, atypical fibroxanthoma, malignant melanoma and several sarcomas. Immunohistochemistry plays an important role in identifying this rare entity and formulating a correct histological diagnosis, fundamental requirement for choosing the best therapeutic approach. We report herein a further case of an 81-year-old Caucasian woman who presented to the Dermatology Department to remove an asymptomatic skin papule in the left temporal region, clinically diagnosed as dermatofibroma. The overall pathological and immunohistochemical features supported the diagnosis of a malignant dendritic cell tumor, consistent of interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma.

Keywords: Immunohistochemistry; Interdigitating dendritic cell sarcoma; Skin.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma* / diagnosis
  • Dendritic Cell Sarcoma, Interdigitating* / diagnosis
  • Dendritic Cell Sarcoma, Interdigitating* / pathology
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sarcoma* / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms* / diagnosis