Application of immunohistochemistry to soft tissue neoplasms

Josefine Heim-Hall, Sophia L. Yohe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Context. - Soft tissue tumors are composed of numerous and complex diagnostic entities. Because of this complexity and the recognition of an intermediate malignancy category including some tumors with a deceptively bland histologic appearance, soft tissue tumors may represent a major diagnostic challenge to the general practicing pathologist. Objective. - To correctly diagnose soft tissue tumors with the ancillary use of immunohistochemistry. Data Sources. - Review of the current literature with emphasis on those tumors for which immunohistochemistry has proven to be particularly useful. Conclusions. - Immunohistochemistry plays an important role in the diagnosis of soft tissue tumors. One of its major utilities is to correctly identify a tumor as being of mesenchymal or nonmesenchymal origin. Once mesenchymal origin has been established, histologic subtyping according to specific cell lineage may be achieved with the use of lineage-specific markers. Tumors of uncertain cell lineage and tumors with primitive small round cell morphology are often characterized by a unique immunohistochemical phenotype. In this group of tumors, immunohistochemistry is most widely applied and is of greatest value. Despite the rapid development of molecular genetic techniques, immunohistochemistry still remains the most important diagnostic tool in the diagnosis of soft tissue tumors aside from recognition of morphologic features and clinical correlation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-489
Number of pages14
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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