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Diagnosis of feline lymphangiosarcoma with a lymphatic vascular marker
Tumour markers are standard diagnostic aids in human medicine but are less popular in veterinary medicine. In this study from Italy, 3 cats with exudative dermatitis associated with lymphangiosarcoma are described. Their histopathological diagnosis of lymphangiosarcoma could be confirmed by the marker LYVE-1.

The animals, an 11-year-old, neutered male and two 10-year-old, neutered female short hair European cats, presented with a 2-month history of transparent liquid oozing from the skin of the groin and caudal abdomen.
On physical examination the neutered male cat and one of the females were slightly depressed and showed loss of weight. Skin lesions were similar in all cats and characterized by the presence of alopecia and moist dermatitis in the ventral abdomen, groin and inner thigh. The hair at the periphery appeared matted by the fluid.

In all three cases, histopathological examination of skin biopsies from the abdomen identified poorly defined neoplasia involving dermis and subcutis, characterized by proliferation of spindle cells aligned along pre-existing collagen bundles. The dissection of collagen bundles gave rise to irregular shaped anastomosing, often blind-ending vascular channels and trabeculae. Vascular spaces were mostly optically empty.

These histological features were strongly suggestive of lymphangiosarcoma. Neoplastic cells were positive for the blood vascular marker Von Willebrand factor, and a lymphatic vascular marker LYVE-1 (Lymphatic Vessel Endothelial receptor - 1), demonstrating the mixed vascular origin of the tumour.
Ultrastructural findings confirmed the final diagnosis of lymphangiosarcoma.


Source: Galeotti, Franca, Barzagli, Fabio, Vercelli, Antonella, Millanta, Francesca, Poli, Alessandro, Jackson, David G. & Abramo, Francesca (2004): Feline lymphangiosarcoma - definitive identification using a lymphatic vascular marker.
In: Veterinary Dermatology 15 (1), 13-18.




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