Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Esthesioneuroblastoma (ESTH) is a neuroepithelial-cell-derived neoplasm of the olfactory mucosa composed of homogeneous small round cells which contain neurosecretory granules. Melanin has been detected in such tumours only occasionally. Here we describe a new case of ESTH with divergent differentiation. The primary neoplasm was found in a 67 year-old female, involving the left nasal and maxillary sinus; she died of cerebral metastasis ten months after diagnosis. Histologically only small round cells were seen, with S-100 and NSE positivity. Electron microscopy revealed neurosecretory granules and filaments, as well as the occasional presence of melanosomes. A nude mice xenograft line has been established, and is presently in its ninth transfer. Two cell types are present: small round-to-spindle shaped cells with neural features, and large epithelial-like ones. Both immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy confirm this dual differentiation, with the presence of membrane-bound dense-core neural secretion, as well as melanosomes of neuroectodermal origin. Additionally, an in vitro cell line has been established. Cytogenetic analysis confirmed the presence of both malignant human melanoma patterns; non-random abnormalities in chromosomes 1 and 6, extra copies of chromosome 7. Duplication of the long arm of chromosome 14, as seen in olfactory neuroblastoma, is also seen.
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