Rhabdoid carcinoma of anal canal: Role of electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry in establishing lineage

Brandon Bassian Shetuni, Usman Irtaza, Janet Melnyk, Pauline M. Chou, Sambasiva Rao, Guang Yu Yang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rhabdoid carcinoma is a high-grade carcinoma with rhabdoid features and it is different from rhabdoid tumors that are broadly defined as malignant neoplasms with rhabdoid cellular appearance found primarily in the pediatric population, but adult cases have been reported in many anatomic locations. To date, no cases of anal canal rhabdoid carcinoma have been reported in the adult or pediatric population. We are reporting the first case of anal canal rhabdoid carcinoma, found in a 75-year-old male. We utilized ultrastructural as well as immunohistochemical studies to arrive at our diagnosis. Ultrastructural studies demonstrated the intermediate filament congregating to impart a rhabdoid appearance to tumor cells, and cytokeratin intermediate filaments and short microvilli indicating nature of tumor as carcinoma. Immunohistochemical phenotype showed neoplastic cells were positive for vimentin, pan-cytokeratin AE1/3, p63 and D2-40, which supports the genesis of tumor from skin adnexa. Even in the modern era of surgical pathology that routinely utilizes immunohistochemistry and molecular studies, adequate use of electron microscopy to help pinpoint the diagnosis in challenging cases is important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)425-429
Number of pages5
JournalUltrastructural Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Anal canal
  • Immunophenotype
  • Rhabdoid carcinoma
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Structural Biology

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