Sinonasal-type hemangiopericytoma: A clinicopathologic and immunophenotypic analysis of 104 cases showing perivascular myoid differentiation

Lester D.R. Thompson, Markku Miettinen, Bruce M. Wenig

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Sinonasal-type hemangiopericytoma is an uncommon upper aerodigestive tract tumor of uncertain cellular differentiation. We report 104 cases of sinonasal-type hemangiopericytoma diagnosed between 1970 and 1995 from the files of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. There were 57 females and 47 males ranging in age from 5 to 86 years (mean 62.6 years). The most common clinical presentation was airway obstruction (n = 57) and/or epistaxis (n = 54), with symptoms averaging 10 months in duration. The tumors involved the nasal cavity alone (n = 47) or also a paranasal sinus (n = 26), were polypoid, and measured an average of 3.1 cm. Histologically, the tumors were submucosal and unencapsulated and showed a diffuse growth with fascicular (n = 37) to solid (n = 50) to focally whorled (n = 7) patterns. The tumor cells were uniform in appearance with minimal pleomorphism and had spindleshaped (n = 82) to round/oval (n = 18) nuclei with vesicular to hyperchromatic chromatin and eosinophilic to amphophilic to clear-appearing cytoplasm with indistinct cell borders. Multinucleated (tumor) giant cells were identified in a minority of cases (n = 5). Mitotic figures were inconspicuous and necrosis was absent. The tumors were richly vascularized, including staghorn-appearing vessels that characteristically had prominent perivascular hyalinization (n = 92). An associated inflammatory cell infiltrate that included mast cells and eosinophils was noted in the majority of cases (n = 87). The immunohistochemical profile included reactivity with vimentin (98%), smooth muscle actin (92%), muscle specific actin (77%), factor XIIIa (78%), and laminin (52%). Surgery was the treatment of choice for all of the patients; adjunctive radiotherapy was given to four patients. Recurrences developed in 18 patients within 1-12 years from diagnosis. Ninety-seven patients were either alive (n = 51, mean 16.5 years) or dead (n = 46, mean 9.6 years) but free of disease. Four patients had disease at the last follow-up: three died with disease (mean 3.6 years) and one patient is alive with disease (28.3 years). Recurrent tumor (17.8%) can be managed by additional surgery. The majority of sinonasal-type hemangiopericytomas behave in a benign manner with excellent long-term prognosis (88% raw 5-year survival) following surgery alone. Sinonasal-type hemangiopericytomas have a characteristic light microscopic appearance with an immunophenotypic profile resembling that of glomus tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-749
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Glomus
  • Hemangiopericytoma
  • Histology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Prognosis
  • Sinonasal tract


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