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Hemangiopericytoma on the hindlimb of a dog[1]

Hemangiopericytoma are common malignant neoplasms of the skin and subcutaneous tissue of dogs.

These tumors are often locally invasive of underlying connective tissue, muscle[2] but rarely metastasize.

They are commonly found on the distal extremities and trunk, but also occur in visceral organs such as the lungs[3], orbit[4], pelvis[5] and as mammary tumors.

Diagnosis may be made tentatively by visualization, but confirmation requires histological analysis of biopsied material. Regional lymphadenopathy does not appear to be a feature of this tumor.

Microscopically, hemangiopericytomas have a characteristic 'fingerprint pattern' appearance, composed of multiple layers of spindle cells arranged in a concentric whorls that often surround a central blood vessel.

Immunohisatochemically, these tumors are usually positive for tumour endothelial marker[6], muscle actin[7] and vimentin[8].

Coinfection with Bartonella berkhoffii has been reported in a dog with hemangiopericytoma[9], suggestive a chronic vasculitis as a possible pathogen.

The mitotic index is reported to be correlated with recurrence, mean patient survival, and metastasis of this tumor[10].

A differential diagnosis would include hemangioma, hemangiosarcoma, fibrosarcoma and mast cell tumor.

Treatment usually requires aggressive local excision. Recurrence is not uncommon and adjunct radiation therapy may be required.

Visceral hemangiopericytomas usually require surgical resection


  1. Uni of Pennsylvania
  2. Connery NA & Bellenger CR (2002) Surgical management of haemangiopericytoma involving the biceps femoris muscle in four dogs. J Small Anim Pract 43(11):497-500
  3. Vignoli M et al (2008) Primary pulmonary spindle cell tumour (haemangiopericytoma) in a dog. J Small Anim Pract 49(10):540-543
  4. Beltran WA et al (2001) A case of orbital hemangiopericytoma in a dog. Vet Ophthalmol 4(4):255-259
  5. Cho HS & Park NY (2006) Primary haemangiopericytoma in the pelvic cavity of a dog. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med 53(4):198-201
  6. Fujii Y et al (2013) Tumour Endothelial Marker-1 is Expressed in Canine Haemangiopericytomas. J Comp Pathol Mar 11
  7. Pérez J et al (1996) Immunohistochemical characterization of hemangiopericytomas and other spindle cell tumors in the dog. Vet Pathol 33(4):391-397
  8. Mazzei M et al (2002) Haemangiopericytoma: histological spectrum, immunohistochemical characterization and prognosis. Vet Dermatol 13(1):15-21
  9. Breitschwerdt EB et al (3009) Isolation of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii genotype II from a boy with epithelioid hemangioendothelioma and a dog with hemangiopericytoma. J Clin Microbiol 47(6):1957-1960
  10. Kang SK et al (2006) Relationship between DNA ploidy and proliferative cell nuclear antigen index in canine hemangiopericytoma. J Vet Diagn Invest 18(2):211-214