Stanford School of Medicine

Surgical Pathology Criteria

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Aggressive Angiomyxoma


  • Infiltrative, hypocellular, bland myxoid lesion of perineum and pelvis

Diagnostic Criteria

  • Virtually restricted to deep soft tissue of perineum, external genitalia, inguinal region in both sexes
    • Rare in males
    • Rarely in vagina or pelvis in females
  • Grossly lobulated, infiltrative
    • May surround nerves, fat and adjacent tissues
  • Usually over 10 cm
    • Rarely under 5 cm
  • Practically never extends to overlying epithelium
  • Abundant myxoid stroma
    • Prominent round, medium to large vessels
      • Vessel walls frequently thick, hyalinized
      • Smooth muscle bundles may surround vessels with “pinwheel” appearance
  • Hypocellular
    • Small bland uniform spindle or stellate cells
    • Rare cases with nests of rounder cells similar to angiomyofibroblastoma
      • The two lesions are probably different parts of a spectrum

Richard L Kempson MD
Robert V Rouse MD
Department of Pathology
Stanford University School of Medicine
Stanford CA 94305-5342

Original posting:: May 27, 2007

Supplemental studies


Vimentin Positive
Desmin Positive
Actin Infrequent to variable
CD34 Positive, focal and weak
Factor XIIIa Positive dendritic cells
Estrogen receptor Positive
Progesterone receptor Positive


  • t(5;12) and t(8;12) involving the HMGIC region involved in lipomas and leiomyomas have been identified

Differential Diagnosis

The first four entities are predominantly perineal in location and may be confused with aggressive angiomyxoma

Angiomyofibroblastoma Aggressive Angiomyxoma
Most <5 cm Nearly always >5 cm
Well circumscribed Not circumscribed
Alternating hypercellular and hypocellular areas Hypocellular
Clusters of rounded, epithelioid, frequently plasmacytoid cells Sparse spindled or stellate cells
Numerous small vessels Large thick walled vessels
Actin frequently positive Actin infrequently positive

  • Cases with features of both occur raising the possibility that they form a spectrum.
  • Size may be a critical distinguishing feature.
  • Immunohistochemistry reports of actin staining are variable and thus it may not be reliable for separation; both are desmin positive.
  • Aggressive Angiomyxoma Cellular Angiofibroma
    Usually large, deep lesion Subcutaneous, mean size 6 cm
    Hypocellular Moderately cellular
    Infiltrative margin Circumscribed
    Usually desmin positive Desmin 10% positive
    May infiltrate fat May have fat integral to lesion
    Both have prominent medium sized vessels, both may be CD34+.

    Superficial Myofibroblastoma Aggressive Angiomyxoma
    Age 40-70's Young patients
    Small, superficial Large, deep
    Circumscribed Frequently infiltrative
    Inconspicuous vessels Prominent thick walled hyalinized vessels
    Both are frequently positive for desmin, CD34, ER, PR

    Fibroepithelial stromal polyp Aggressive Angiomyxoma
    Exophytic Sessile, deep lesion
    Often extends to overlying epithelium Practically never extends to overlying epithelium
    Vaginal or cervical Usually in soft tissue
    Usually <5 cm Nearly always >5 cm
    May have scattered atypical stromal cells No atypical cells
    Both contain desmin positive cells

    Superficial Angiomyxoma Aggressive Angiomyxoma
    Usually <5 cm Nearly always >5 cm
    Superficial Deep seated
    Long thin walled vessels Medium to large thick walled vessels
    Desmin negative Desmin positive
    Stromal neutrophils No stromal neutrophils


    Aggressive angiomyxoma is virtually restricted to perineal, genital, inguinal regions, while the myxoid entities considered below may occur in a wide variety of sites.

    Intramuscular Myxoma Aggressive Angiomyxoma
    Frequently on extremities Perineal or pelvic
    Hypovascular Prominent medium to large vessels

    Myxoid neurofibroma Aggressive angiomyxoma
    S100 positive S100 negative
    Desmin negative Desmin positive

    Myxofibrosarcoma Aggressive angiomyxoma
    Large cytologically atypical cells Small bland cells
    May have frequent mitotic figures Rare mitotic figures

    Myxoid Liposarcoma Aggressive Angiomyxoma
    Arborizing vessels Large, disorganized vessels
    Signet ring lipoblasts Lacks lipoblasts


    • Nearly all age 20-50 years
      • Reports of 13, 8 and 1 year old males
      • One report in an 11 year old female
    • Most occur in females
      • About 5% in males
    • Virtually restricted to soft tissue of perineum, external genitalia, inguinal region in both sexes
      • Rarely in vagina or pelvis in females
    • Usually over 10 cm
      • Rarely under 5 cm
    • Can recur
      • Current recurrence rate is significantly lower than reported in early series
      • Two cases of metastasis reported, one with death

    Grading / Staging / Report

    Grading and staging are not applicable

    The surgical pathology report should contain or address the following:

    • Location
    • Type of resection or biopsy
    • Histologic diagnosis
    • Managerial category II (Local recurrence can occur but is rarely destructive; only two cases with metastasis reported)
      • Almost all recurrent cases are cured by second excision
    • Size
    • Depth (dermis, subcutis, below fascia, body cavity)
    • Margins
      • Involved
      • Not involved
    • Results of supplementary studies if performed
    • Relationship to other specimens from the same patient


    Vulvovaginal stromal and spindled tumors

    Soft tissue lesions that frequently are prominently myxoid


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