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The co-expression of cytokeratin and p63 in epithelioid angiosarcoma of the parotid gland: a diagnostic pitfall

Xu-Yong Lin12, Yang Liu12, Yong Zhang12, Juan-Han Yu12 and En-Hua Wang12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital and College of Basic Medical Sciences, China Medical University, Shenyang, 110001, China

2 Institute of pathology and pathophysiology, China Medical University, Shenyang, 110001, China

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Diagnostic Pathology 2012, 7:118  doi:10.1186/1746-1596-7-118

Published: 3 September 2012



Epithelioid angiosarcoma of the parotid gland is rare, and may pose a great diagnostic challenge. We report a case of primary epithelioid angiosarcoma in a 64-year-old male without history of radiation. The histopathological findings demonstrated a high grade epithelioid neoplasm. Immunostaining showed that the tumor was positive for the pan-cytokeratin, p63, cytokeratin18, Vimentin and vascular markers CD31, and was negative for CD34, cytokeratin5/6, cytokeratin7, cytokeratin20, CD68, CD30, S-100, HMB45, desmin, α–SMA and CD45. The tumor was diagnosed as an epithelioid angiosarcoma. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of angiosarcoma which showed common positivity for cytokeratin and p63. In addition to cytokeratin, p63 is considered a useful marker for carcinoma. The co-expression of cytokeratin and p63 in epithelioid angiosarcoma represents a diagnostic pitfall. Thus, using a panel of antibodies is essential for distinguishing this tumor from poorly differentiated carcinoma.

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Angiosarcoma; Cytokeratin; p63