Stains & CD markers

Last author update: 1 May 2013
Last staff update: 7 February 2023 (update in progress)

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PubMed Search: CD34 [title] stain

Lauren N. Stuart, M.D., M.B.A.
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Cite this page: Stuart L.N. CD34. website. Accessed June 6th, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Also called hematopoietic progenitor cell antigen CD34
  • CD34+ stromal cells are called dendritic interstitial cells
  • Intercellular adhesion protein and cell surface glycoprotein; ligand is CD62L (L-selectin)
  • May mediate attachment of hematopoietic stem cells to bone marrow extracellular matrix or directly to stromal cells, although specific function is unknown
  • CD34 staining defines adult hematopoietic stem cells but CD34+ cells can also differentiate into neural cells (Exp Neurol 2006;197:399)
Clinical features
  • Membranous stain
  • Endothelium acts as a positive internal control
  • Staining represents presence of protein, not cross reactivity, despite wide range of tissues that are CD34+ (Am J Pathol 2000;156:21)
Uses by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

Scroll to see all images:

Contributed by Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D.


Prominent vascular network

Capillary network

Case #190
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Storiform collagenoma

Case #182
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Neck tumor,

Case #179
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Littoral cell angioma, spleen, CD34-

Case #151
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Leukemia vasculitis

Case #130
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Myeloid sarcoma, bone

Case #126
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PreB ALL, kidney

Case #84
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Case #69
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Epithelioid sarcoma, CD34+

Case #23
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Epithelioid angiosarcoma, lung


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Fibroblastic cells (CD34+ in normal stomach, CD34- in intestinal gastric carcinoma)

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CD34+ stromal cells (normal stomach & colon, gastric adenocarcinoma)

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CD34+ vascular endothelial cells (normal and gastric adenocarcinoma)

 Gastrointestinal stromal tumor:
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Stomach GIST

Solitary fibrous tumor:
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Vascular tumors:
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Angiosarcomas, liver

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Skin, scalp

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Epithelioid angiosarcoma, bone

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of bone (left, fig 2B);
CNS (right, fig F)

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Hemangiomas, capillary type: endometrium (left, fig 2C); testis (right, fig 1B)

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Kaposi sarcoma

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Aggressive angiomyxoma: penis/scrotum (left); spermatic cord (right)

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Skin tumor, CD34+

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Breast carcinoma

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Hepatocellular carcinoma: tumor cells are CD34 negative but intravascular tumor clusters are lined by CD34+ endothelial cells

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Various images

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Myofibroma, CD34-

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Neurothekeoma, CD34-

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Perineurioma, extraneural

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CD34+ fibroblastic cells

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Pseudoangiomatous hyperplasia (PASH) of breast: stroma is CD34+

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Solitary sclerotic fibroma, finger

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Spindle cell lipoma
has CD34+ stroma:
breast (left); salivary
glands (right, fig D)

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Superficial acral fibromyxoma, soft tissue, F2

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CD34 distinguishes displaced epithelium

Positive staining - normal
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
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