Fine needle aspiration biopsy and immunostaining findings in an aggressive inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor of the lung: A case report

Christina D. Hannah, Dwight H. Oliver, Jing Liu

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Background: Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) can vary from benign pseudosarcomatous tumors to low grade sarcomas. To date, fine needle aspiration (FNA) findings of lung IMTs, especially in the aggressive form, have not been fully described. Here we present FNA biopsy findings in conjunction with immunohistochemical studies in a case of primary and recurrent pulmonary IMT. Case: A 22-year-old man first presented with a left lung mass and 4.5 years later with a recurrent mass. Preoperative computed tomography-guided FNA was performed on both tumors. FNA cytologic smears of both specimens consisted of scant, distorted spindle cells suggestive of a spindle cell lesion but were insufficient for further classification. Needle core biopsies as well as touch imprints were performed during the FNA procedures. The imprints revealed abundant, well-preserved spindle cells with mild to moderate atypia and intermixed lymphocytes and plasma cells. The spindle cells in both specimens were immunoreactive for vimentin and smooth muscle actin and were negative for pancytokeratin, desmin, CD34 and c-kit. Thirty percent of the tumor cells were positive for p53. The findings were compatible with those of IMT. Histologic examination of the surgically resected initial and recurrent masses confirmed the diagnosis of IMT. Conclusion: The cytologic findings of pulmonary IMT in FNA specimens are suggestive of, although not specific for, IMT. Immunohistochemical studies can assist in the diagnosis by excluding other spindle cell lesions. Cytologic atypia and p53 immunoreactivity may be indicators of aggressive IMTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-243
Number of pages5
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007



  • Aspiration biopsy, fine-needle
  • Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor
  • Lung neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology

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