Solitary fibrous tumour of the pleura is a benign neoplasm differing from diffuse pleural mesothelioma. It was originally thought to be a variant of mesothelioma because it consists of a spindle cell stroma associated with branching tubular structures lined by cuboidal cells. In this study of two cases the tubular structures were lined with ciliated and non-ciliated cuboidal cells. Ultrastructurally most of the non-ciliated cells had the features of type II pneumocytes, while the stromal cells had all the characteristics of fibroblasts. Immunohistochemical staining showed the epithelial cells to be positive for both keratin and carcinoembryonic antigen, whereas the stromal cells were negative. The findings support the theory that these tumours are fibroblastic in origin, and that the biphasic pattern is due to entrapment of non-neoplastic bronchiolar and alveolar epithelial cells.
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