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

Lovell, S.E.R., Burchell, R.K., Roady, P.J., Fredrickson, R.L., and Gal, A. (2017) Canine intrathoracic sarcoma with ultrastructural characteristics of human synovial sarcoma – case report. BMC Veterinary Research, 13. 247.

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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.


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.

Item ID: 57475
Item Type: Article (Case Study)
ISSN: 1746-6148
Keywords: dog, synovial sarcoma, thoracic neoplasm, transmission electron microscopy
Copyright Information: Copyright © The Author(s). 2017. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 21:20
FoR Codes: 07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0707 Veterinary Sciences > 070706 Veterinary Medicine @ 100%
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