Unusual Multinucleated Giant Cell Reaction in a Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Histopathological and Immunohistochemical Features

  • Celeste Sánchez-Romero
  • Roman Carlos
  • Ciro Dantas Soares
  • Oslei Paes de Almeida
Case Report


Multinucleated giant cell (MGC) reaction in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) usually represents a stromal foreign body reaction to keratin from neoplastic epithelial cells. We describe and illustrate by double immunohistochemistry a case of a tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in a 70-year-old female patient, with a copious MGC reaction not associated to keratin, showing a histopathological pattern not described before. The MGCs were directly associated with neoplastic cells, which are phagocytosed by the MGCs. Immunohistochemistry for CD68, AE1/AE3, CD163, CD11c, RANK, RANK-L, OPG were performed, as well as double staining for CD68 and AE1/AE3 to better illustrate the relationship between MGCs and neoplastic cells. The clinical and biological significance of this pattern of MGC reaction in OSCC needs to be better elucidated.


Oral squamous cell carcinoma Multinucleated giant cells Immunohistochemistry Phagocytosis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All of authors have indicated they have no potential conflicts of interest and no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oral Pathology Section, Department of Oral Diagnosis, Piracicaba Dental SchoolUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)PiracicabaBrazil
  2. 2.Centro Clínico de Cabeza y Cuello/Hospital Herrera LlerandiGuatemalaGuatemala

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