A leukemic presentation of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma in a 52-year-old woman without an identifiable primary tumor

Jason B. Kern, Anselm Hii, Matthew J. Kruse, Zsolt Szabo, Pedram Argani, Michele K. Hibbard, Douglas Gladstone, Christian Meyer, Rui Zheng, Michael J Borowitz, Amy S Duffield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A 52-year-old woman presented with fatigue and thrombocytopenia. Imaging studies were unremarkable with the exception of a positron emission tomography scan, which demonstrated intense F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose uptake fusing to the marrow. A bone marrow aspirate was notable for large discohesive cells with basophilic cytoplasm, and flow cytometric analysis identified a population of phenotypically unusual cells that coexpressed CD56 and CD71. Immunohistochemical findings in the marrow biopsy demonstrated that the neoplasm was alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, further supported by the presence of a t(2;13). This unusual case demonstrates that leukemic presentations of rhabdomyosarcoma can occur in older adults in the absence of an identifiable primary tumor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-77
Number of pages3
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 13 2015



  • Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma
  • Bone marrow
  • Cytogenetics
  • Flow cytometry
  • Immunohistochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Surgery

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