Canine hemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma: A proliferative disorder of CD11d+ macrophages

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135 Scopus citations


Histiocytic disorders of dogs include histiocytoma, localized histiocytic sarcoma (HS), disseminated HS (malignant histocytosis), and the reactive histiocytoses: cutaneous and systemic. A common element to these diseases is proliferation of dendritic cells (DC) of either Langerhans cell (epithelial DC) or interstitial DC lineage. In this report, 17 dogs with hemophagocytic HS are described. Breeds affected included Bernese Mountain Dog (6), Golden Retriever (4), Rottweiler (3), Labrador Retriever (2), a mixed-breed dog, and a Schnauzer, which were from 2.5 to 13 years old. The dogs presented with Coombs negative responsive anemia in 16/17 dogs (94%), thrombocytopenia in 15/17 dogs (88%), hypoalbuminemia in 16/17 dogs (94%), and hypocholesterolemia in 11/16 dogs (69%). All dogs died or were euthanized. The clinical course ranged from 2 to 32 weeks (mean 7.1 weeks). Diffuse splenomegaly with ill-defined masses was consistently present. Microscopic lesions were prevalent in spleen, liver, lung, and bone marrow. Metastasis occurred by insidious intravascular invasion with minimal mass formation. Histiocytes were markedly erythrophagocytic and accompanied by foci of extramedullary hemopoiesis. Cytologically, the histiocytes varied from well differentiated to atypical, with atypia more prevalent in spleen than bone marrow. These tumors arose from splenic red pulp and bone marrow macrophages, which expressed major histocompatibility complex class II and the β2 integrin, CD11d. They had low and/or inconsistent expression of CD1 and CD11c, which are dominantly expressed by canine nonhemophagocytic HS of DC origin. Canine histiocytic proliferative diseases now encompass proliferation of all members of the myeloid histiocytic lineage: Langerhans cells, interstitial DC, and macrophages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)632-645
Number of pages14
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2006


  • CD1
  • CD11d
  • CD18
  • Dendritic cell
  • Dogs
  • Hemophagocytic
  • Histiocytic sarcoma
  • Macrophage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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