Feline Vaccine-associated Fibrosarcoma: Morphologic Distinctions

S. S. Couto, Stephen M Griffey, P. C. Duarte, B. R. Madewell

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101 Scopus citations


Forty-four primary feline vaccine-associated fibrosarcomas and 16 recurrences were examined histologically for detailed morphologic characterization with emphasis on tumor grade, presence of neoplastic multinucleated giant cells, presence and proportion of T and B lymphocytes within the tumor, and thin and intermediate filament contents of neoplastic and stromal cells. The microvascularity and proliferation rates of central and peripheral areas of the tumors were also quantified by computerized image analysis. For primary fibrosarcomas, 11 of 44 (25%) were grade I, 21 of 44 (47.7%) were grade II, and 12 of 44 (27.3%) were grade III. The recurrences followed a similar pattern: 4 of 16 (25%) were grade I, 8 of 16 (50%) were grade II, and 4 of 16 (25%) were grade III. A positive correlation was found between the presence of neoplastic multinucleated giant cells and tumor grade. These cells were present in 9 of 12 (75%) of grade III and none of the grade I tumors. Prominent peritumoral lymphoid aggregates or follicles were present in 59% of the tumors, and many contained high proportions of T lymphocytes, varying from 19 to 87%. All fibrosarcomas were immunoreactive for vimentin and 28 of 44 (64%) were reactive for α-smooth muscle actin. The actin-positive cells were either part of the tumor or formed a capsule around tumor nodules. The peripheral vascularity was significantly higher than the central vascular density but no difference was found in tumor cell proliferation rates between the two areas. Centrally located, fluid-filled micro- or macrocavitations were frequently observed in the large vaccine sarcomas and probably formed secondary to rapid tumor growth and central necrosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-41
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Feline vaccine-associated sarcomas
  • inflammation
  • microvascularity
  • multinucleated giant cells
  • myofibroblasts
  • proliferation
  • tumor grade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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