Hemangiopericytoma: Histopathological pattern or clinicopathologic entity?

O. Nappi, J. H. Ritter, G. Pettinato, M. R. Wick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


The tumor designated by Stout and Murray as 'hemangiopericytoma' (HPC) more than 50 years ago continues to represent a source of uncertainty end disagreement among pathologists. In particular, questions exist regarding the synonymity of a hemangiopericytomatous growth pattern-defined by a monomorphic population of compact polygonal or bluntly fusiform cells and a branching stromal vascular pattern with a 'staghorn' configuration-and the presence of a reproducible biological entity. It has been shown repeatedly that these same histologic features may be observed at least focally in a diversity of neoplasms, including 'true' hemangiopericytomas, synovial sarcomas, mesenchymal chondrosarcomas, infantile fibrosarcomas, malignant fibrous histiocytomas, malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors, leiomyosarcomas, endometrial stromal sarcomas, solitary fibrous tumors, myofibromas, malignant mesotheliomas, thymomas, sarcomatoid carcinomas, malignant melanomas, and 'phosphaturic mesenchymal tumors.' Despite their potential sharing of the microscopic attributes in question, such neoplasms have individualistic clinical features and can also be distinguished from one another by specialized pathologic analyses. HPC is 'defined' in that context by reactivity for vimentin, with or without CD34 and CD57, but it lacks other immunodeterminants of epithelial, neural, and myogenous differentiation. Paradoxically, this phenotype is indeed associated with the presence of myogenous-type cytoplasmic filaments in ultrastructural evaluations of HPC. Other lesions that may resemble 'true' HPC-but which possess dissimilar subcellular end clinical characteristics-include solitary fibrous tumors, hemangiopericytomalike tumors of the sinonasal tract, and 'infantile (congenital) hemangiopericytomas.' Such observations suggest that the hemangiopericytoma is both a pathologic entity and a morphological pattern, and they emphasize the utility of adjuvant pathologic studies in this diagnostic context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-232
Number of pages12
JournalSeminars in Diagnostic Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


  • Hemangiopericytoma
  • congenital neoplasms
  • sinonasal neoplasms
  • soft tissue neoplasms


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