Mohs micrographic surgery of a plexiform fibrohistiocytic tumor

Afshin D. Rahimi, Ron Shelton, Alain Dumas, Damian DiConstanzo, Robert Phelps

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20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Plexiform fibrohistiocytic tumor (PFT) is a rare mesenchymal neoplasm first described by Enzinger and Zhang in 1988. Clinically it is characterized by slow growth, frequent local recurrences, and rare systemic metastasis. These tumors occur chiefly in children and young adults and are most commonly located on the shoulders and forearms. OBJECTIVE. To present a case report of an incompletely excised PFT, its complete resection using simple excision and Mohs micrographic surgery, and review of the literature. METHODS. An 11-year-old Hispanic girl was evaluated for the treatment of an incompletely excised plexiform fibrohistiocytic neoplasm located in the right axilla. Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) was chosen because of the ill-defined borders and the need for tissue conservation. The patient underwent a two-stage, six section, micrographically controlled excision. Upon completion of the MMS a 2 mm final stage, taken as a peripheral and deep section around and underneath the cleared area, was submitted for paraffin embedding. Residual plexiform histiocytic tumor was found at the margin of resection in one location. Reevaluation of the Mohs slides demonstrated the possible presence of tumor at one deep focus. The tumor was reexcised with a 5 mm margin and repeat hematoxylin and eosin staining showed no residual tumor. There has been no evidence of recurrence in 4 years. RESULTS. Complete resection of the PFT and absence of tumor recurrence 4 years later. CONCLUSION. Over the past few years the list of neoplasms for which MMS is the treatment of choice has steadily grown. PFT is a recently described locally aggressive mesenchymal neoplasm with potential for distant metastasis. To our knowledge this is the first time MMS has been used to resect this tumor. To ensure the chance of complete extirpation we recommend the harvest of an additional stage for hematoxylin and eosin staining, as is done in some aggressive squamous cell carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)768-771
Number of pages4
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001


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