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Volume 24(2), Summer 2014

Commissioned paper

Feline injection site sarcoma:

a Latvian piece to the puzzle


by Ilze Matise


Risk factors of

feline ISS

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The Latvian exception

Contrary to other countries ISS in Latvia is not a rare tumour. A disproportionately high number of ISS cases in cats have been seen in tumour biopsy submissions to both existing veterinary pathology laboratories in Latvia. ISS was diagnosed in 60/421 (13.8%) feline biopsy submissions in a 3-year time period (2010-2013).



The features that separate ISS from sporadic soft tissue sarcomas are: unusually large size ...

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Diagnostic work-up


Injection site sarcomas (ISS) (previously designated vaccine-associated sarcomas) are rare, aggressive tumours that develop in cats as a side effect after administration of vaccines or less often other types of medication. Inflammation driven fibroblast proliferation is implicated in the pathogenesis of these tumours. There are variations in the ISS incidence among countries which may be attributable to differences in infectious disease prevalence, ...

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Gross features

ISS have distinct gross and microscopic appearance that help to identify these as a specific subset of soft tissue sarcomas; however, neither gross nor histologic features are sufficiently specific for this diagnosis.

Even on the basis of microscopic features, the pathologist can only suggest to the clinician that a sarcoma with these features may have been associated with an injection. The clinician must decide whether the location of the tumour and history of injections are compatible with ISS.