Canine intrathoracic sarcoma with ultrastructural characteristics of human synovial sarcoma - case report

S. E.R. Lovell, R. K. Burchell, P. J. Roady, R. L. Fredrickson, A. Gal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Canine joint sarcomas, designated synovial sarcomas, are uncommon malignant mesenchymal neoplasms that occur in the large joints of the extremities of middle-aged, large-breed dogs. We report the diagnosis of an intrathoracic sarcoma with ultrastructural characteristics reminiscent of human synovial sarcoma in a dog. Case presentation: A 7-year-old female spayed Tibetan terrier crossbred dog was presented for acute severe labored breathing and diagnosed with an intrathoracic neoplastic mass. The neoplasm resulted in the accumulation of substantial amounts of viscous pleural fluid that led to dyspnea. The neoplastic mass consisted of interweaving bundles of large pleomorphic mesenchymal cells, supported by an alcian blue positive myxomatous matrix. The neoplastic cells were immunohistochemically negative for cytokeratin and CD18. Transmission electron microscopy indicated that the neoplastic cells had desmosome junctions, short microvilli-like structures and ample amounts of rough endoplasmic reticulum resembling type B-like synoviocytes and synovial sarcoma as reported in people. Despite complete surgical excision of the neoplastic mass, clinical signs recurred after a month and led to the euthanasia of the dog. Conclusion: Currently, there are no immunohistochemical markers specific for synovial sarcoma. Canine neoplasms with transmission electron microscopy characteristics resembling type B-like synoviocytes should be considered similar to the human sarcomas that carry the specific translocations between chromosomes X and 18.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number247
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 16 2017


  • Dog
  • Synovial sarcoma
  • Thoracic neoplasm
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


Dive into the research topics of 'Canine intrathoracic sarcoma with ultrastructural characteristics of human synovial sarcoma - case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this