In 1942, Drs. Margaret Murray and Arthur Stout wrote a paper about a solitary, fibrous neoplasm of capillary blood vessels. Unlike other glomus tumors -- soft tissue growths mainly found under the nails -- these tumors presented a diagnostic challenge. The doctors named the growth hemangiopericytoma (HPCs). The tumors can occur anywhere in the body, even in the brain. Because they are rare, many medical questions remain under investigation, but some treatment methods have proven successful.
First described in the 1870s and named in 1923 by K.W. Zimmerman, pericytes are cells on the walls of capillaries. These cells are found in spiraling capillaries and venules and are responsible for vessel formation and blood flow, as well as the maintenance of the blood-brain barrier and regulating the entry of immune cells into the central nervous system. Studies suggest pericytes are the starting point of hemangiopericytomas.
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