Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts - tumor
Other malignancies
Follicular dendritic cell tumors

Topic Completed: 1 February 2012

Revised: 28 January 2019, last major update February 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Follicular dendritic cell tumor liver

Deepali Jain, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 209
Page views in 2020 to date: 77
Cite this page: Jain D. Follicular dendritic cell tumors. website. Accessed March 28th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Rare tumor, ~ 15 cases reported in liver (Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int 2011;10:443), ~ 100 cases reported at all sites, usually lymph nodes, head and neck
  • Usually Asian women, mean age 47 years, range 19 to 82 years
  • Usually associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), weight loss, fever
  • Indolent behavior; may recur without causing death
  • Inflammatory pseudotumor-like variant: marked female predominance; selective localization in intra-abdominal sites, especially liver and spleen; frequent systemic symptoms; indolent behavior; prominent lymphoplasmacytic infiltration; consistent association with EBV (Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:721)
Case reports
Gross description
  • Solitary, fleshy, often > 10 cm (range, 4 - 20 cm) with focal hemorrhage and necrosis; surrounding liver tissue unremarkable
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Well demarcated from surrounding liver
  • Syncytial growth of spindle or ovoid tumor cells in background of lymphocytes and plasma cells
  • Tumor cells have vesicular nuclei, distinct nucleoli and variable nuclear atypia with some cells resembling Reed-Sternberg cells
  • Focal spindle cell fascicles; occasional vessels with fibrinoid deposits
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:


Various images - sites other than liver

Various images - sites other than liver

Inflammatory pseudotumor-like variant (site unspecified)
composed of loosely arranged spindle to oval cells
(A) with prominent mixed inflammatory infiltrate
consisting primarily of lymphocytes and plasma cells (B)

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Long, thin cytoplasmic processes connected by desmosomes
Differential diagnosis
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