Primary mesenchymal (nonangiomatous/nonlymphomatous) neoplasms occurring in the canine spleen: anatomic classification, immunohistochemistry, and mitotic activity correlated with patient survival.

W. L. Spangler, M. R. Culbertson, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Surgical submissions from canine splenectomy cases spanning a 3-year period (1988-1990) were evaluated. Eighty seven neoplasms of the spleen considered to be of nonangiomatous and nonlymphomatous origin were selected for morphologic classification, mitotic index determination, immunohistochemical analysis, and patient survival determination. In 76/87 cases, patient survival information was available, and the mitotic index was determined in 83/87 cases. Immunohistochemistry for selected antigens (vimentin, desmin, smooth muscle actin, myosin, and factor VIII-related antigen) was performed in 58/87 of the cases. Morphologic classification of these lesions in standard HE preparations yielded the following neoplastic groups: fibrosarcoma (19/87), undifferentiated sarcoma (19/87), leiomyosarcoma (14/87), osteosarcoma (8/87), mesenchymoma (7/87), myxosarcoma (6/87), histiocytic sarcoma (6/87), leiomyoma (3/87), lipoma-myelolipoma (2/87), liposarcoma (2/87), and malignant fibrous histiocytoma (1/87). A lack of distinct morphologic characteristics among many of the neoplasms that were classified as either fibrosarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, or undifferentiated sarcoma contrasted these groups with the relatively unambiguous features that distinguished the other sarcoma groups. Using immunohistochemical staining for muscle-specific antigens (desmin, smooth muscle actin, and myosin), specific staining often overlapped extensively within the neoplastic groups of fibrosarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, and undifferentiated sarcomas, suggesting either ambiguous morphologic findings or the possibility of a common histogenesis from smooth muscle trabeculae or a distinct population of splenic myofibroblasts. The biological behavior of all tumors examined could be placed into three categories of patient survival: (1) benign, noninvasive tumors (leiomyoma, lipoma) with prolonged survival intervals; (2) malignant tumors (fibrosarcoma, undifferentiated sarcoma, leiomyosarcoma, osteosarcoma, myxosarcoma, histiocytic sarcoma, and liposarcoma), showing severely truncated survival (median 4 months with 80-100% mortality after 12 months; and (3) intermediate survival periods (median 12 months with 50% 1 year survival) attributed to a single group of neoplasm, the mesenchymomas. The biological behavior of primary splenic nonangiomatous, nonlymphomatous sarcomas was most closely correlated with observed mitotic index. Splenic neoplasms of this type with a mitotic index < 9 showed significantly (P < 0.0001) longer survival intervals than those with an index > 9. With the exception of osteosarcoma, all anatomically defined tumor groups contained one or more specimens with a mitotic index < 9. The clinical prognosis given for splenic sarcomas should be modified according to the mitotic index as a predictive value for patient survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-47
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Primary mesenchymal (nonangiomatous/nonlymphomatous) neoplasms occurring in the canine spleen: anatomic classification, immunohistochemistry, and mitotic activity correlated with patient survival.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this