Lymphangiosarcoma

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Lymphangiosarcoma in the inguinal region of a dog[1]

Lymphangiosarcoma are a rare malignant neoplasm of lymphatic endothelial cells in subcutaneous tissue.

These tumors are commonly aggressive in nature, with metastases commonly observed in regional lymph nodes and lungs, as well as involving localized superficial and deep dermis and subcutaneous tissue[2]. Primary lesions are seen in the inguinal region, internal organs and skin[3].

The tumour has been reported mostly in medium- to large-breed dogs, in slightly more males than females, and in an age-range of 8 weeks to 13 years, with more cases aged 5 years and older[4]. They usually appear as depressed, ulcerated and firm nodules which can be found associated with the mammary gland, vagina, urethra and retroperitoneal tissues[5]. Septic arthritis[6], lymphedema[7] and chylothorax are commonly observed with this disease[8].

The most common initial clinical finding is a localized swelling or mass, with edema of the skin and underlying tissues. Metastasis is common, often leading to wide dissemination and rapid progression of disease[9].

Diagnosis is based on histopathology of biopsied material. These tumors have characteristic spindle-shaped cells arranging in solid sheaths around vascular channels[10].

A definitive diagnosis requires immunohistochemistry.

Included in a differential diagnosis would be lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, fibrosarcoma and fat necrosis secondary to radiation therapy.

Treatment usually involves radical wide-margin resection augmented with radiation therapy. Diuretics such as furosemide may be required for palliative relief of lymphedema.

Chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin have been used successfully, with survivals greater than one year reported[11].

References

  1. Uni of Pennsylvania
  2. Fossum TW et al (1998) Lymphangiosarcoma in a dog presenting with massive head and neck swelling. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 34(4):301-304
  3. Diessler ME et al (2003) Cutaneous lymphangiosarcoma in a young dog: clinical, anatomopathological and lectinhistochemical description. J Vet Med A Physiol Pathol Clin Med 50(9):452-456
  4. Williams JH (2005) Lymphangiosarcoma of dogs: a review. J S Afr Vet Assoc 76(3):127-131
  5. Williams JH et al (2005) Lymphangiosarcoma in a 3.5-year-old Bullmastiff bitch with vaginal prolapse, primary lymph node fibrosis and other congenital defects. J S Afr Vet Assoc 76(3):165-171
  6. Sagartz JE et al (1996) Lymphangiosarcoma in a young dog. Vet Pathol 33(3):353-356
  7. Webb JA et al (2004) Lymphangiosarcoma associated with primary lymphedema in a Bouvier des Flandres. J Vet Intern Med 18(1):122-124
  8. Waldrop JE et al (2001) Chylothorax in a dog with pulmonary lymphangiosarcoma. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 37(1):81-85
  9. Barnes JC et al (1997) Disseminated lymphangiosarcoma in a dog. Can Vet J 38(1):42-44
  10. Itoh T et al (2004) Lymphangiosarcoma in a dog treated with surgery and chemotherapy. J Vet Med Sci 66(2):197-199
  11. Looper JS (2007) Fat necrosis simulating recurrent neoplasia following external beam radiotherapy in a dog. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 48(1):86-88
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