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Epithelioid hemangioma of bone. A tumor often mistaken for low-grade angiosarcoma or malignant hemangioendothelioma.

Epithelioid hemangiomas are benign vascular tumors that usually occur in the skin and subcutis. They have been infrequently recognized in bone. Because of their unusual cytologic appearance and growth patterns, they are commonly confused with malignant tumors. We report a series of 12 epithelioid hemangiomas of bone occurring in adult patients, including five males and seven females whose ages at presentation ranged from 24 to 74 years, with a mean of 46 years. Five tumors were associated with involvement of the adjacent soft tissue. A single patient had multifocal bone disease. The most common presenting symptom was localized pain. Treatment of the patients varied widely; however, none of the tumors behaved aggressively. In 11 cases, adequate tissue was available for immunohistochemical analysis, which revealed positive staining for the epithelial markers cytokeratin and epithelial membrane antigen in nine cases. All 11 tumors stained for factor VIII-related antigen and Ulex europeus agglutinin. We believe that many of the vascular tumors of bone that have been reported as low-grade malignant hemangioendotheliomas probably represent examples of epithelioid hemangiomas. We recommend that the criteria for diagnosing vascular tumors of bone conform to those used for morphologically similar tumors that arise in the soft tissues.

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