Malignant mesenchymomas of soft tissue associated with numerous osteoclast-like giant cells mimicking the so-called giant cell variant of "malignant fibrous histiocytoma"

Virchows Arch. 1994;424(5):539-45. doi: 10.1007/BF00191441.


Three cases of malignant mesenchymoma with numerous osteoclast-like giant cells, arising in deep soft tissue, and which mimicked the so-called giant cell variant of "malignant fibrous histiocytoma" have been studied. All three neoplasms arose in adults; two patients were male and one was female. Two tumours arose in the thigh, and one in the right shoulder. Two patients died within 2 years of the primary excision while the third is alive and well at 2.5 years. Histologically, one case showed leiomyosarcoma plus liposarcoma, one leiomyosarcoma plus osteosarcoma, and one tumour consisted of liposarcoma plus osteosarcoma; all components were assessed morphologically as high-grade malignant. All three cases showed prominent osteoclast-like giant cells in the leiomyosarcomatous or osteosarcomatous areas, thereby closely mimicking the phenotype of so-called giant cell variant of "malignant fibrous histiocytoma". We discuss briefly differences in soft tissue sarcomas demonstrating this distinctive osteoclast-rich phenotype.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Histiocytoma, Benign Fibrous / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mesenchymoma / pathology*
  • Osteoclasts / pathology