Faecal Occult Blood Test

Case of the Month (Emma Scurrell June 2011)

Haemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma 

 The following are H&E (x400) sections from an enlarged spleen with multiple, poorly delineated nodules in an 8-year old Rottweiler which presented with regenerative anaemia. 

 .Fig 1. The spleen is multifocally to extensively infiltrated by a neoplastic and pleomorphic round cell population. Neoplastic round cells frequently contain intracytoplasmic red blood cells consistent with erythrophagia (black arrows).  

Fig 2. A large proportion of the neoplastic cells also display haemosiderin-accumulation characterised by intracytoplasmic brown granular pigment (green arrows) which indicates red blood cell breakdown. Occasional multinucleated cells are noted (black arrow).


Fig 3. Mitotic figures are relatively frequent (red arrow).

Final Diagnosis

Splenic haemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma


 Haemophagocytic histiocytic sarcoma (formerly known as malignant histiocytosis) is an uncommon malignant neoplasm in which the neoplastic histiocytes display erythrophagia and/or haemosiderin-accumulation resulting in progressive anaemia. The spleen is the most commonly affected organ but the liver, lungs, lymph nodes and bone marrow are also frequently involved. Generalised hepatosplenomegaly and lymphadenopathy are common clinical findings. Disease progression is typically rapid and unfortunately the prognosis is poor. 

Previous Monthly Cases

Hypertensive Retinopathy January 2010
FIP in a cat - uncommon presentation February 2010
Phaeohyphomycosis    March 2010 
Scleral Rupture April 2010
Canine and feline epulides May 2010
Erythema multiforme in a labrador retreiver June 2010
Keloidal fibrosarcoma in a labrador retreiver July 2010
Cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma  August 2010 
Benign cutaneous histiocytoma  September 2010 
Iridociliary adenoma October 2010
Proliferative thrombovascular necrosis of the pinnae November 2010
Signet-ring cell carcinoma in the stomach of a dog December 2010
Cutaneous infiltrative lipoma in a labrador January 2011

Tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma February 2011
Canine orbital meningioma March 2011
"Lung-digit" syndrome in a cat April 2011
Hepatic amyloidosis in a cat May 2011

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Faecal Occult Blood Test