Extramedullary plasmacytomas were studied in 29 dogs. The site at which tumors occurred and the age and sex of the dogs were similar to those in previous reports. The skin of the digits, chin, ear, and lip represented the most common (17/29) tumor sites. Males and females were equally represented, and tumors occurred in middle-aged to old dogs (mean age, 9.0 years). A breed predilection was seen in the Cocker Spaniel (n = 7; 24%); Cocker Spaniels represented only 4% (210/4,725) of the submissions during the same period. Tumors were stained with immunohistochemical markers (lambda light chain, K light chain) and thioflavine T. Immunoreactivity was limited to either lambda or K light chains, consistent with a monoclonal plasma cell population. The majority of tumors expressed lambda light chains, consistent with previously reported canine plasma cell dyscrasias. Thioflavine T cytoplasmic fluorescence was seen in the majority (18/29) of plasmacytomas and with inflammatory plasma cells present in control specimens. Other round cell neoplasms (lymphosarcoma, histiocytoma, and mastocytoma) were negative with thioflavine T, indicating that positive staining with thioflavine T was specific for plasma cells (neoplastic and inflammatory). This study confirms by immunohistochemistry that canine extramedullary plasmacytomas disproportionately express lambda light chains and establishes thioflavine T staining as a rapid histochemical method for diagnosis of these tumors.
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