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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cutaneous parachordoma. A light microscopic and immunohistochemical report of two cases and review of the literature.

Parachordomas are rare cutaneous tumors that show virtually identical histologic findings to chordomas. Therefore, the major differential diagnosis in a case of parchordoma is metastatic chordoma. Parachordomas are benign neoplasms and most often develop on the extremities adjacent to tendons, synovium or osseous structures, as opposed to chordomas, which are malignant tumors located along the craniospinal axis. While recurrences may occur in cases of parachordoma, metastases have not been reported. In this report, two cases of parachordomas are reported and the literature reviewed. By light microscopy, parachordomas show eosinophilic bands of fibrous tissue separating lobules of cells with variably vacuolated cytoplasm (physaliphorous cells) admixed with more epithelioid cells in a myxoid stroma. Parachordomas and chordomas share immunohistochemical and ultrastructural features. Both stain with S-100 protein and vimentin, and ultrastructurally both demonstrate cytoplasmic vacuoles, intermediate filaments, pinocytotic vesicles, celljunctions, and cytoplasmic membranes with microvillous processes. Chordomas more frequently express cytokeratin (98% vs. 66% in parachordomas) and epithelial membrane antigen (90% vs. 20% in parachordomas) and chordomas have a larger number of rough endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial complexes. Thus, positive staining with epithelial membrane antigen and the identification of a large number of rough endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondrial complexes are suggestive of metastatic chordoma. However, the definitive distinction remains a clinical one after appropriate radiologic studies of the skull and spinal chord.[1]


  1. Cutaneous parachordoma. A light microscopic and immunohistochemical report of two cases and review of the literature. Imlay, S.P., Argenyi, Z.B., Stone, M.S., McCollough, M.L., Henghold, W.B. J. Cutan. Pathol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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