"Dedifferentiated" chordoma: a case report of the cytomorphologic findings on fine-needle aspiration.
Chordomas are relatively rare neoplasms occurring at both ends of a neuro axis. The majority follow an indolent course of multiple local recurrences, ultimately leading to the patient's death. Rare examples have been associated with sarcomatous components, usually resembling malignant fibrous histiocytoma, fibrosarcoma, or osteosarcoma. These tumors have followed a more aggressive course, with poor response to treatment and death following a relatively short time course. Cytologic material from a single case obtained by fine-needle aspiration revealed a high-grade malignancy composed of short atypical spindle cells containing modest amounts of granular cytoplasm. Physaliphorous cells were absent, and myxoid material was not a significant component of the smears. Rare polygonal cells with foamy cytoplasm were identified. Histologic study revealed a high-grade spindle-cell sarcoma in which were scattered small aggregates of vacuolated cells resembling physaliphorous cells. Anaplastic giant cells were present, and the overall appearance of the neoplasm resembled a malignant fibrous histiocytoma. Despite the radiographic appearance of a conventional chordoma in this case, the cytologic findings were indicative of a high-grade sarcoma consistent with a dedifferentiated chordoma.
Layfield, LJ; Liu, K; Dodd, LG; Olatidoye, BA
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