Atypical fibrous histiocytoma of the skin and subcutis in childhood and adolescence

A. J. Marrogi, L. P. Dehner, C. M. Coffin, M. R. Wick

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18 Scopus citations


The authors have observed 15 examples of a distinctive fibrohistiocytic lesion in children and adolescents which they chose to designate as “atypical fibrous histiocytoma” (AFH). Patient ages ranged from 1 to 19 years (mean 9.3 yr.). Only two cases were encountered in the first year of life, but 7 were seen in children under the age of 10 yr. The anatomic distribution of AFH showed a tendency for a truncal origin (66%), and none was located in the skin of the face, neck, or scalp. Tumor sizes ranged from 1 to 3 cm, and one‐third were 2 cm or greater in maximum dimension. Histologically, AFH was characterized by a multinodular, dermal or dermal‐subcuticular proliferation of spindle cells, with tapered, cytologically bland nuclei. However, nucleocytoplasmic ratios were increased when compared with those of normal fibroblasts. Nuclear chromatin was dispersed or vesicular; nucleoli were seen in a minority of cases, but mitotic activity was regularly present. Admixed giant cells were present but infrequent, cellularity was dense, and a storiform growth pattern was consistently seen. Mean followup in this group of cases averaged 75 mo. Seven patients (47%) had tumor recurrences after initial excision; in two of these, tissue margins had been free of involvement. The authors conclude that AFH of childhood is analogous to a lesion that has previously been reported as “benign fibrous histiocytoma” in adults. Complete excision and regular postoperative surveillance are recommended for these tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-277
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cutaneous pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1992


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