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    Visceral leiomyosarcoma is well described in dogs, but information about non-visceral locations and prevalence is lacking. The diagnosis of leiomyosarcoma is challenging without a gold standard, and often includes the use of immunohistochemical (IHC) stains. We used defined histopathologic patterns, histochemical staining, and IHC staining for smooth muscle actin (SMA), desmin, and laminin to characterize suspected non-visceral leiomyosarcoma in dogs at a single academic institution. In a retrospective search, we identified 24 dogs with a definitive or suspected histologic diagnosis of leiomyosarcoma in a non-visceral location. Histopathology results and clinical details were obtained. Biopsy sections were reviewed by a single pathologist using standardized histologic criteria, including light microscopic appearance, immunohistochemistry (more than two-thirds of neoplastic cells labeled with SMA and desmin or laminin), and histochemical staining (minimal-to-mild matrix deposition by Masson trichrome). Of the 24 cases of possible non-visceral leiomyosarcomas, 4 were consistent with a definitive diagnosis of non-visceral leiomyosarcoma (3) or leiomyoma (1) based on the established criteria. Only the leiomyoma had more than two-thirds of neoplastic cells label with all 3 markers; all 3 leiomyosarcomas had more than two-thirds of neoplastic cells label with SMA and laminin. Our data highlight the uncommon nature of non-visceral leiomyosarcoma and the importance of IHC for their diagnosis. A definitive diagnosis could not be made based on SMA alone, and desmin was not useful in this cohort. Further studies are needed to clarify the histopathologic, IHC, and clinical features of canine non-visceral SMA-positive mesenchymal tumors.


    Rachel V Brady, Robert B Rebhun, Katherine A Skorupski, Jenna H Burton, Sami Al-Nadaf, Eunju Choi, Jennifer L Willcox. Retrospective immunohistochemical investigation of suspected non-visceral leiomyosarcoma in dogs. Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc. 2022 May;34(3):465-473

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    PMID: 35291894

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