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Open Access Methodology

The role of immunohistochemistry in medullomyoblastoma – a case series highlighting divergent differentiation

Man Updesh S Sachdeva1, Mahesha Vankalakunti1, Aruna Rangan1, Bishan D Radotra1, Rajesh Chhabra2 and Rakesh K Vasishta1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Histopathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

2 Department of Neurosurgery, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India

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Citation and License

Diagnostic Pathology 2008, 3:18  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-3-18

Published: 25 April 2008

Abstract

Aims

To analyse the histo-morphology of cases of medullomyoblastoma and identifying its divergent differentiation.

Methods

A retrospective review of all cases reported as medulloblastoma between the period of Jan 2000 to Dec 2006 was carried out on Hematoxylin and eosin (H & E) stained slides. The cases were screened on light microscopy for primitive neuroectodermal component of a medulloblastoma accompanied by areas of "myoid" differentiation, identified on the basis of presence of strap cells (indicating a clear skeletal muscle differentiation) and/or large anaplastic cells with vescicular nuclei and moderate to abundant amount of eosinophilic cytoplasm. All these cases were subjected to a panel of immunohistochemical stains, including Desmin, GFAP, NFP, HMB45, SMA, S100, CK and EMA. Ultrastructral analysis was done on tissue obtained from paraffin blocks in 2 cases.

Results

Male predominance (M:F = 5:1) was noted with an incidence of five percent of all cases of medulloblastoma (6 out of 120 cases) over a period of 6 years. Primitive neuroectodermal areas were accompanied with areas of "myoid" differentiation, 5 cases showing strap cells. Two cases with epithelial and cartilaginous differentiation were seen. Three cases showed focal melanocytic differentiation, identified only on HMB45 immunostaining. Four cases showed glial differentiation. Neuronal differentiation again was very focally seen in two cases, of which one was identified only by NFP immunostain. Seventh case is included in the study, however it is not considered to calculate incidence as it occurred beyond the period of 6 years of records search.

Conclusion

Medullomyoblastoma is a rare childhood tumor of cerebellum. Majority of cases reveal divergent differentiation, which are identified with the help of panel of immunostains indicating multi-potential nature of primitive neuroectodermal cells.