Diagnostic value of histochemistry in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma

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Embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas from the nasopharynx of two children were examined by histochemical methods commonly applied to muscle biopsies. These stains included nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide–tetrazolium reductase (NADH-TR), succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), PAS, PAS-diastase, myophosphorylase, calcium-mediated adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) preincubated at high and low pH, and oil red O. Myofibrils were easily identified with ATPase and blood vessel walls were also stained. NADH-TR clearly showed longitudinal and cross-striations that were not seen with H&E or PTAH stains. The modified Gomori trichrome stain additionally contributed to the recognition of myofibrils. Some techniques of muscle histochemistry applied to fresh frozen sections of tumor tissue may provide evidence of muscular differentiation in otherwise poorly differentiated sarcomas for a more accurate diagnosis of rhabdomyosarcoma.

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