JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Immunohistochemical comparison of cutaneous lymphadenoma, trichoblastoma, and basal cell carcinoma: support for classification of lymphadenoma as a variant of trichoblastoma.

Cutaneous lymphadenoma is an uncommon basaloid epithelial tumor of uncertain histogenesis, most recently classified as a variant of trichoblastoma. Because characteristic immunohistochemical findings have been reported in trichoblastomas, we evaluated the staining patterns of five cutaneous lymphadenomas and compared the results to those of ten trichoblastomas and ten nodular basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), using antibodies to cytokeratin 20 (CK20), bcl-2, and CD34. In addition, because lymphadenomas contain intraepithelial S100-positive putative Langerhans cells, we compared staining of all tumor groups for S100 protein and CD1a. We also attempted to corroborate recent reports of CD30-positive activated lymphocytes in lymphadenomas. We identified CK20-positive Merkel cells in 3/5 lymphadenomas, 7/10 trichoblastomas, and none of the BCCs. Staining for bcl-2 accentuated the peripheral epithelial layer in all lymphadenomas and in 3/10 trichoblastomas, while the remaining trichoblastomas and all BCCs stained diffusely. There was stromal staining with CD34 in two lymphadenoma, 4 trichoblastomas, and 3 BCCs. All lymphadenomas featured numerous intraepithelial S100-positive cells which were also positive for CD1a in three cases tested. In addition, 8/10 trichoblastomas and 2/10 BCCs contained modest numbers of cells labelling for S100 and CD1a. Two of three lymphadenomas contained rare single cells resembling histiocytes faintly positive for CD30, and similar cells labelled for CD68. We conclude that the similar staining patterns of lymphadenomas and trichoblastomas support the classification of lymphadenoma as a variant of trichoblastoma. Staining with CD34 does not reliably distinguish between these tumors and BCCs. Lymphadenomas, trichoblastomas, and BCCs may all contain Langerhans' cells. The relationship between these cells and the striking lymphoid infiltrates seen in lymphadenomas is not clear. In our cases, the CD30-positive cells in lymphadenomas appear to represent histiocytes rather than activated lymphocytes.

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