Intra-abdominal Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma (FDCS): Series of 18 cases of a rare entity from Pakistan

Maha Zubair, Nasir Ud Din, Sidra Arshad, Khurram Minhas, Romana Idress, Zubair Ahmad

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Objectives: Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma (FDCS) is a rare neoplastic proliferation of dendritic cells which are immune accessory cells found in both lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs. FDCS can thus occur in lymph nodes as well as non-lymphoid organs. Intraabdominal FDCS is even rarer. Our aim was to describe the clinical and morphological features of intra-abdominal FDCSs diagnosed in our practice and to review published literature on FDCSs including intra-abdominal FDCSs. Methods: All cases of FDCSs diagnosed between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2019 were included in the study. Slides of the cases were reviewed and clinical follow up was obtained. Results: A total of 18 cases of intraabdominal FDCS were diagnosed during the study period. Age range was 17 to 55 years. Mean and median ages were 28 and 29 years respectively. Of the 18 patients, 11 were male and 7 were females. Colon was involved in 9 cases and appendix in 2 cases. 9 cases were received as resection specimens while 9 cases were received as slides and blocks for second opinion. Tumor size ranged from 2.7 to 26 cm. Average tumor size in these 9 cases was 8.2 cm and in 6 of these 9 cases, tumor size was greater than 6 cm in largest dimension. Grossly, tumors were nodular or polypoid and had a fleshy, grey white, homogeneous cut surface. Histologically, all 18 cases showed proliferation of plump to spindle shaped cells arranged in a fascicular or storiform pattern. Tumor cells had mild to moderately pleomorphic spindle to ovoid vesicular nuclei with fine chromatin and inconspicuous to variably conspicuous nucleoli, and moderate amount of pale eosinophilic cytoplasm. Mitotic activity was usually brisk. CD21 and CD23 were positive in all 18 cases. Resection margins were negative in all 9 resection specimens. Lymph nodes positive for metastases were seen in 4 cases. Follow up was available in 13 cases. Recurrence was seen in 6 patients, out of which 3 patients died of disease 15, 17- and 24-months following resection. 1 patient with appendiceal FDCS was free of disease almost 12 years after surgery but recently developed recurrence and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. 6 patients were alive and well at the time of follow-up 5 to 68 months after resection. None of them had developed recurrence or metastases at the time of follow up. 8 of the 13 patients received chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy post-surgical resection. Conclusion: Colon was involved in 9 of our 18 cases. Lymph nodes were positive for metastases in 4 out of 9 resection specimens. All cases were diagnosed based on morphology supported by positivity for immunohistochemical stains CD21 and CD23. Histological factors associated with aggressive behavior were seen in 14 cases. Majority of patients had an aggressive clinical course.

Original languageEnglish
Article number151595
JournalAnnals of Diagnostic Pathology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Appendix
  • CD21
  • CD23
  • CD35
  • Colon
  • Follicular Dendritic Cell Sarcoma


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