Epithelioid angiosarcoma of the adrenal glands. A clinicopathologic study of nine cases with a discussion of the implications of finding "epithelial-specific" markers

Am J Surg Pathol. 1994 Jan;18(1):62-73.


Adrenal epithelioid angiosarcomas (AEA) are rare neoplasms. We report the clinicopathologic features of nine cases of AEA. AEA occurred most frequently in the sixth and seventh decades of life (age range, 45-85 years; median, 60); five cases occurred in men and four in women. Presenting symptoms included abdominal mass with or without pain, weight loss, fever, and weakness. Two cases were asymptomatic; one was discovered during evaluation for other disease(s) and the other at autopsy. All neoplasms were nonfunctioning. Radiographic evaluation demonstrated suprarenal or retroperitoneal neoplasms ranging in size from 6 to 10 cm in greatest dimension. Histologically, the neoplasms were invasive, predominantly arranged in solid sheets or nests, and composed of epithelioid cells. Endothelial cell differentiation was suggested by the transition areas between dilated anastomotic vascular spaces and the sheet-like growth, the cytomorphologic similarity between the endothelial cells lining the discernible vascular spaces and those seen in the solid foci, and the presence of intracytoplasmic vacuolization occasionally containing red blood cells. Endothelial derivation was confirmed by immunohistochemistry including Factor VIII-related antigen (FVIII), CD-34 (hematopoetic progenitor cell antigen), and/or Ulex europaeus agglutinin-1 lectin immunoreactivity (UEA-1) and by ultrastructural findings, including rod-shaped microtubulated bodies and intracytoplasmic lumen formation. In addition, cytokeratin reactivity was seen in seven cases, and B72.3 (tumor-associated glycoprotein-72) reactivity was seen in six. Surgical resection was the treatment of choice, occasionally supplemented by chemotherapy. Three patients are presently alive, free of disease, at 13, 11, and 6 years following diagnosis. Three died with metastatic AEA of the lung, and three died of unrelated causes.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Adrenal Gland Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Adrenal Glands / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Epithelium / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Hemangiosarcoma / metabolism*
  • Hemangiosarcoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Middle Aged
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Biomarkers, Tumor