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Background

The female genital system encompasses a variety of organs and epithelial surfaces. Thus diseases affecting organs as diverse as the skin and blood system can affect this system. Sexually transmitted diseases often get much of the attention. However, in recent years, infertility issues have predominated. A pathologist may perform an intraoperative consult opening an ovary or uterus to determine the nature of the disease process. Leiomyomas (fibroids) of the uterus and cysts of the ovaries are the two most common conditions requiring our attention.

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OUTLINE

Disease Associations

Hormone Replacement Therapy-Breast Cancer
Hormone Replacement Therapy-Cardiovascular disease
Hormone Replacement Therapy-Dementia
H
ormone Replacement Therapy-Ovarian Cancer

Gross Appearance and Clinical Variants  
Special Stains/Immunohistochemistry/Electron Microscopy  
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DISEASE ASSOCIATIONS CHARACTERIZATION
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY-BREAST CANCER  


Relationship between long durations and different regimens of hormone therapy and risk of breast cancer.

Li CI, Malone KE, Porter PL, Weiss NS, Tang MT, Cushing-Haugen KL, Daling JR.

Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Wash.

 

JAMA. 2003 Jun 25;289(24):3254-63. Abstract quote

CONTEXT: Women using combined estrogen and progestin hormone replacement therapy (CHRT) have an increased risk of breast cancer; however, data on use for long durations and on risk associated with patterns of use are lacking.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate relationships between durations and patterns of CHRT use and risk of breast cancer by histological type and hormone receptor status.

DESIGN: Population-based case-control study.

SETTING: Three counties in western Washington State.

PARTICIPANTS: Nine hundred seventy-five women 65-79 years of age diagnosed with invasive breast cancer from April 1, 1997, through May 31, 1999 (histology: 196 lobular cases, 656 ductal cases, 114 cases with other histological type, and 9 cases with an unspecified histological type; estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR) status: 646 ER+/PR+ cases, 147 ER+/PR- cases, and 101 ER-/PR- cases [6 ER-/PR+ cases and 75 cases with unknown ER/PR status were not included in the analyses herein]) and 1007 population controls. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Risks of invasive lobular, ductal, ER+/PR+, ER+/PR-, and ER-/PR- breast carcinomas.

RESULTS: Women using unopposed estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) (exclusive ERT use), even for 25 years or longer, had no appreciable increase in risk of breast cancer, although the associated odds ratios were not inconsistent with a possible small effect. Ever users of CHRT (includes CHRT users who also had used ERT) had a 1.7-fold (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-2.2) increased risk of breast cancer, including a 2.7-fold (95% CI, 1.7-4.3) increased risk of invasive lobular carcinoma, a 1.5-fold (95% CI, 1.1-2.0) increased risk of invasive ductal carcinoma, and a 2.0-fold (95% CI, 1.5-2.7) increased risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancers. The increase in risk was greatest in those using CHRT for longer durations (users for 5-14.9 years and >/=15 years had 1.5-fold [95% CI, 1.0-2.3] and 1.6-fold [95% CI, 1.0-2.6] increases in risk of invasive ductal carcinoma, respectively, and 3.7-fold [95% CI, 2.0-6.6] and 2.6-fold [95% CI, 1.3-5.3] increases in risk of invasive lobular carcinoma, respectively. Associations of similar magnitudes were seen among users of both sequential and continuous CHRT. Risks of ER+/PR- and ER-/PR- tumors were not increased by use of any form of hormone replacement therapy; however, small numbers of these tumors limited power to detect possible associations.

CONCLUSION: These data suggest that use of CHRT is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, particularly invasive lobular tumors, whether the progestin component was taken in a sequential or in a continuous manner.


Influence of Estrogen Plus Progestin on Breast Cancer and Mammography in Healthy Postmenopausal Women: The Women's Health Initiative Randomized Trial.

Chlebowski RT, Hendrix SL, Langer RD, Stefanick ML, Gass M, Lane D, Rodabough RJ, Gilligan MA, Cyr MG, Thomson CA, Khandekar J, Petrovitch H, McTiernan A.

Harbor-UCLA Research and Education Institute, Torrance, Calif.

 

JAMA. 2003 Jun 25;289(24):3243-53. Abstract quote

CONTEXT: The Women's Health Initiative trial of combined estrogen plus progestin was stopped early when overall health risks, including invasive breast cancer, exceeded benefits. Outstanding issues not previously addressed include characteristics of breast cancers observed among women using hormones and whether diagnosis may be influenced by hormone effects on mammography.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship among estrogen plus progestin use, breast cancer characteristics, and mammography recommendations.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Following a comprehensive breast cancer risk assessment, 16 608 postmenopausal women aged 50 to 79 years with an intact uterus were randomly assigned to receive combined conjugated equine estrogens (0.625 mg/d) plus medroxyprogesterone acetate (2.5 mg/d) or placebo from 1993 to 1998 at 40 clinical centers. Screening mammography and clinical breast examinations were performed at baseline and yearly thereafter.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Breast cancer number and characteristics, and frequency of abnormal mammograms by estrogen plus progestin exposure.

RESULTS: In intent-to-treat analyses, estrogen plus progestin increased total (245 vs 185 cases; hazard ratio [HR], 1.24; weighted P<.001) and invasive (199 vs 150 cases; HR, 1.24; weighted P =.003) breast cancers compared with placebo. The invasive breast cancers diagnosed in the estrogen plus progestin group were similar in histology and grade but were larger (mean [SD], 1.7 cm [1.1] vs 1.5 cm [0.9], respectively; P =.04) and were at more advanced stage (regional/metastatic 25.4% vs 16.0%, respectively; P =.04) compared with those diagnosed in the placebo group. After 1 year, the percentage of women with abnormal mammograms was substantially greater in the estrogen plus progestin group (716 [9.4%] of 7656) compared with placebo group (398 [5.4%] of 7310; P<.001), a pattern which continued for the study duration.

CONCLUSIONS: Relatively short-term combined estrogen plus progestin use increases incident breast cancers, which are diagnosed at a more advanced stage compared with placebo use, and also substantially increases the percentage of women with abnormal mammograms. These results suggest estrogen plus progestin may stimulate breast cancer growth and hinder breast cancer diagnosis.


Noncardiovascular Disease Outcomes During 6.8 Years of Hormone Therapy: Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study Follow-up (HERS II).

Hulley S, Furberg C, Barrett-Connor E, Cauley J, Grady D, Haskell W, Knopp R, Lowery M, Satterfield S, Schrott H, Vittinghoff E, Hunninghake D.

University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143-0560.

JAMA 2002 Jul 3;288(1):58-64 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: The Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS) was a randomized trial of estrogen plus progestin therapy after menopause.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of long-term postmenopausal hormone therapy on common noncardiovascular disease outcomes.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial of 4.1 years' duration (HERS) and subsequent open-label observational follow-up for 2.7 years (HERS II), carried out between 1993 and 2000 in outpatient and community settings at 20 US clinical centers.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2763 postmenopausal women with coronary disease and average age of 67 years at enrollment in HERS; 2321 women (93% of those surviving) consented to follow-up in HERS II.

INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly assigned to receive 0.625 mg/d of conjugated estrogens plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate (n = 1380) or placebo (n = 1383) during HERS; open-label hormone therapy was prescribed at personal physicians' discretion during HERS II. The proportions with at least 80% adherence to hormones declined from 81% (year 1) to 45% (year 6) in the hormone group and increased from 0% (year 1) to 8% (year 6) in the placebo group.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Thromboembolic events, biliary tract surgery, cancer, fracture, and total mortality.

RESULTS: Comparing women assigned to hormone therapy with those assigned to placebo, the unadjusted intention-to-treat relative hazard (RH) for venous thromboembolism declined from 2.66 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.41-5.04) during HERS to 1.40 (95% CI, 0.64-3.05) during HERS II (P for time trend =.08); it was 2.08 overall for the 6.8 years (95% CI, 1.28-3.40), and 3 of the 73 women with thromboembolism died within 30 days due to pulmonary embolism. The overall RH for biliary tract surgery was 1.48 (95% CI, 1.12-1.95); for any cancer, 1.19 (95% CI, 0.95-1.50); and for any fracture, 1.04 (95% CI, 0.87-1.25). There were 261 deaths among those assigned to hormone therapy and 239 among those assigned to placebo (RH, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.92-1.31). Adjusted and as-treated analyses did not alter our conclusions.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment for 6.8 years with estrogen plus progestin in older women with coronary disease increased the rates of venous thromboembolism and biliary tract surgery. Trends in other disease outcomes were not favorable and should be assessed in larger trials and in broader populations.


Risks and benefits of estrogen plus progestin in healthy postmenopausal women: principal results From the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial.

Writing Group for the Women's Health Initiative Investigators.

 

JAMA 2002 Jul 17;288(3):321-33 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: Despite decades of accumulated observational evidence, the balance of risks and benefits for hormone use in healthy postmenopausal women remains uncertain.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the major health benefits and risks of the most commonly used combined hormone preparation in the United States.

DESIGN: Estrogen plus progestin component of the Women's Health Initiative, a randomized controlled primary prevention trial (planned duration, 8.5 years) in which 16608 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years with an intact uterus at baseline were recruited by 40 US clinical centers in 1993-1998.

INTERVENTIONS: Participants received conjugated equine estrogens, 0.625 mg/d, plus medroxyprogesterone acetate, 2.5 mg/d, in 1 tablet (n = 8506) or placebo (n = 8102).

MAIN OUTCOMES MEASURES: The primary outcome was coronary heart disease (CHD) (nonfatal myocardial infarction and CHD death), with invasive breast cancer as the primary adverse outcome. A global index summarizing the balance of risks and benefits included the 2 primary outcomes plus stroke, pulmonary embolism (PE), endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, hip fracture, and death due to other causes.

RESULTS: On May 31, 2002, after a mean of 5.2 years of follow-up, the data and safety monitoring board recommended stopping the trial of estrogen plus progestin vs placebo because the test statistic for invasive breast cancer exceeded the stopping boundary for this adverse effect and the global index statistic supported risks exceeding benefits. This report includes data on the major clinical outcomes through April 30, 2002. Estimated hazard ratios (HRs) (nominal 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) were as follows: CHD, 1.29 (1.02-1.63) with 286 cases; breast cancer, 1.26 (1.00-1.59) with 290 cases; stroke, 1.41 (1.07-1.85) with 212 cases; PE, 2.13 (1.39-3.25) with 101 cases; colorectal cancer, 0.63 (0.43-0.92) with 112 cases; endometrial cancer, 0.83 (0.47-1.47) with 47 cases; hip fracture, 0.66 (0.45-0.98) with 106 cases; and death due to other causes, 0.92 (0.74-1.14) with 331 cases. Corresponding HRs (nominal 95% CIs) for composite outcomes were 1.22 (1.09-1.36) for total cardiovascular disease (arterial and venous disease), 1.03 (0.90-1.17) for total cancer, 0.76 (0.69-0.85) for combined fractures, 0.98 (0.82-1.18) for total mortality, and 1.15 (1.03-1.28) for the global index. Absolute excess risks per 10 000 person-years attributable to estrogen plus progestin were 7 more CHD events, 8 more strokes, 8 more PEs, and 8 more invasive breast cancers, while absolute risk reductions per 10 000 person-years were 6 fewer colorectal cancers and 5 fewer hip fractures. The absolute excess risk of events included in the global index was 19 per 10 000 person-years.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall health risks exceeded benefits from use of combined estrogen plus progestin for an average 5.2-year follow-up among healthy postmenopausal US women. All-cause mortality was not affected during the trial. The risk-benefit profile found in this trial is not consistent with the requirements for a viable intervention for primary prevention of chronic diseases, and the results indicate that this regimen should not be initiated or continued for primary prevention of CHD.

HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY-CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE


Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes During 6.8 Years of Hormone Therapy: Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study Follow-up (HERS II).

Grady D, Herrington D, Bittner V, Blumenthal R, Davidson M, Hlatky M, Hsia J, Hulley S, Herd A, Khan S, Newby LK, Waters D, Vittinghoff E, Wenger N.

University of California, San Francisco, 74 New Montgomery St, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94105.

JAMA 2002 Jul 3;288(1):49-57 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: The Heart and Estrogen/progestin Replacement Study (HERS) found no overall reduction in risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events among postmenopausal women with CHD. However, in the hormone group, findings did suggest a higher risk of CHD events during the first year, and a decreased risk during years 3 to 5.

OBJECTIVE: To determine if the risk reduction observed in the later years of HERS persisted and resulted in an overall reduced risk of CHD events with additional years of follow-up.

DESIGN AND SETTING: Randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled trial of 4.1 years' duration (HERS) and subsequent unblinded follow-up for 2.7 years (HERS II) conducted at outpatient and community settings at 20 US clinical centers.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 2763 postmenopausal women with CHD and average age of 67 years at enrollment in HERS; 2321 women (93% of those surviving) consented to follow-up in HERS II.

INTERVENTION: Participants were randomly assigned to receive 0.625 mg/d of conjugated estrogens and 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate (n = 1380), or placebo (n = 1383) during HERS; open-label hormone therapy was prescribed at personal physicians' discretion during HERS II. The proportions with at least 80% adherence to hormones declined from 81% (year 1) to 45% (year 6) in the hormone group, and increased from 0% (year 1) to 8% (year 6) in the placebo group.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was nonfatal myocardial infarction and CHD death. Secondary cardiovascular events were coronary revascularization, hospitalization for unstable angina or congestive heart failure, nonfatal ventricular arrhythmia, sudden death, stroke or transient ischemic attack, and peripheral arterial disease.

RESULTS: There were no significant decreases in rates of primary CHD events or secondary cardiovascular events among women assigned to the hormone group compared with the placebo group in HERS, HERS II, or overall. The unadjusted relative hazard (RH) for CHD events in HERS was 0.99 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81-1.22); HERS II, 1.00 (95% CI, 0.77-1.29); and overall, 0.99 (0.84-1.17). The overall RHs were similar after adjustment for potential confounders and differential use of statins between treatment groups (RH, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.82-1.14), and in analyses restricted to women who were adherent to randomized treatment assignment (RH, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.77-1.19).

CONCLUSIONS: Lower rates of CHD events among women in the hormone group in the final years of HERS did not persist during additional years of follow-up. After 6.8 years, hormone therapy did not reduce risk of cardiovascular events in women with CHD. Postmenopausal hormone therapy should not be used to reduce risk for CHD events in women with CHD.


Effects of hormone replacement therapy and antioxidant vitamin supplements on coronary atherosclerosis in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial.

Waters DD, Alderman EL, Hsia J, Howard BV, Cobb FR, Rogers WJ, Ouyang P, Thompson P, Tardif JC, Higginson L, Bittner V, Steffes M, Gordon DJ, Proschan M, Younes N, Verter JI.

Division of Cardiology, Room 5G1, San Francisco General Hospital, 1001 Potrero Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110.

JAMA 2002 Nov 20;288(19):2432-40 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and antioxidant vitamins are widely used for secondary prevention in postmenopausal women with coronary disease, but no clinical trials have demonstrated benefit to support their use.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether HRT or antioxidant vitamin supplements, alone or in combination, influence the progression of coronary artery disease in postmenopausal women, as measured by serial quantitative coronary angiography.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PATIENTS: The Women's Angiographic Vitamin and Estrogen (WAVE) Trial, a randomized, double-blind trial of 423 postmenopausal women with at least one 15% to 75% coronary stenosis at baseline coronary angiography. The trial was conducted from July 1997 to January 2002 in 7 clinical centers in the United States and Canada.

INTERVENTIONS: Patients were randomly assigned in a 2 x 2 factorial design to receive either 0.625 mg/d of conjugated equine estrogen (plus 2.5 mg/d of medroxyprogesterone acetate for women who had not had a hysterectomy), or matching placebo, and 400 IU of vitamin E twice daily plus 500 mg of vitamin C twice daily, or placebo.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Annualized mean (SD) change in minimum lumen diameter (MLD) from baseline to concluding angiogram of all qualifying coronary lesions averaged for each patient. Patients with intercurrent death or myocardial infarction (MI) were imputed the worst rank of angiographic outcome.

RESULTS: The mean (SD) interval between angiograms was 2.8 (0.9) years. Coronary progression, measured in mean (SD) change, worsened with HRT by 0.047 (0.15) mm/y and by 0.024 (0.15) mm/y with HRT placebo (P =.17); and for antioxidant vitamins by 0.044 (0.15) mm/y and with vitamin placebo by 0.028 (0.15) mm/y (P =.32). When patients with intercurrent death or MI were included, the primary outcome showed an increased risk for women in the active HRT group (P =.045), and suggested an increased risk in the active vitamin group (P =.09). Fourteen patients died in the HRT group and 8 in the HRT placebo group (hazard ratio [HR], 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.75-4.3), and 16 in the vitamin group and 6 in the vitamin placebo group (HR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.1-7.2). Death, nonfatal MI, or stroke occurred in 26 HRT patients vs 15 HRT controls (HR, 1.9; 95% CI, 0.97-3.6) and in 26 vitamin patients and 18 vitamin controls (HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 0.80-2.9). There was no interaction between the 2 treatment interventions.

CONCLUSION: In postmenopausal women with coronary disease, neither HRT nor antioxidant vitamin supplements provide cardiovascular benefit. Instead, a potential for harm was suggested with each treatment.

HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY-DEMENTIA  


Effect of Estrogen Plus Progestin on Global Cognitive Function in Postmenopausal Women: The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Rapp SR, Espeland MA, Shumaker SA, Henderson VW, Brunner RL, Manson JE, Gass ML, Stefanick ML, Lane DS, Hays J, Johnson KC, Coker LH, Dailey M, Bowen D.

Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC.

 

JAMA 2003 May 28;289(20):2663-72 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: Observational studies have suggested that postmenopausal hormone treatment may improve cognitive function, but data from randomized clinical trials have been sparse and inconclusive. The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS) is an ancillary study of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) hormone therapy trials. On July 8, 2002, the estrogen plus progestin therapy in the WHI trial was discontinued because of certain increased health risks for women.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether estrogen plus progestin therapy protects global cognitive function in older postmenopausal women.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, WHIMS is an ancillary study of geographically diverse, community-dwelling women aged 65 years or older from 39 of 40 clinical centers within the WHI estrogen plus progestin trial that started in June 1995. Of 4894 eligible postmenopausal women aged 65 years or older and free of probable dementia at baseline, 4532 (92.6%) were enrolled in the estrogen plus progestin component of WHIMS. A total of 4381 participants (96.7%) provided at least 1 valid cognitive function score between June 1995 and July 8, 2002.

INTERVENTIONS: Participants received either 1 daily tablet containing 0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogen with 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate (n = 2145) or matching placebo (n = 2236).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Global cognitive function measured annually with the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination.

RESULTS: The Modified Mini-Mental State Examination mean total scores in both groups increased slightly over time (mean follow-up of 4.2 years). Women in the estrogen plus progestin group had smaller average increases in total scores compared with women receiving placebo (P =.03), but these differences were not clinically important. Removing women by censoring them after adjudicated dementia, mild cognitive impairment, or stroke, and nonadherence to study protocol, did not alter the findings. Prior hormone therapy use and duration of prior use did not affect the interpretation of the results, nor did timing of prior hormone therapy initiation with respect to the final menstrual period. More women in the estrogen plus progestin group had a substantial and clinically important decline (>/=2 SDs) in Modified Mini-Mental State Examination total score (6.7%) compared with the placebo group (4.8%) (P =.008).

CONCLUSIONS: Among postmenopausal women aged 65 years or older, estrogen plus progestin did not improve cognitive function when compared with placebo. While most women receiving estrogen plus progestin did not experience clinically relevant adverse effects on cognition compared with placebo, a small increased risk of clinically meaningful cognitive decline occurred in the estrogen plus progestin group.


Estrogen Plus Progestin and the Incidence of Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment in Postmenopausal Women: The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Shumaker SA, Legault C, Thal L, Wallace RB, Ockene JK, Hendrix SL, Jones BN 3rd, Assaf AR, Jackson RD, Morley Kotchen J, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Wactawski-Wende J.

Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC.


JAMA 2003 May 28;289(20):2651-62 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: Postmenopausal women have a greater risk than men of developing Alzheimer disease, but studies of the effects of estrogen therapy on Alzheimer disease have been inconsistent. On July 8, 2002, the study drugs, estrogen plus progestin, in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial were discontinued because of certain increased health risks in women receiving combined hormone therapy.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of estrogen plus progestin on the incidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment compared with placebo.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, began enrolling participants from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen plus progestin trial in May 1996. Of the 4894 eligible participants of the WHI study, 4532 (92.6%) postmenopausal women free of probable dementia, aged 65 years or older, and recruited from 39 of 40 WHI clinical centers were enrolled in the WHIMS.

INTERVENTION: Participants received either 1 daily tablet of 0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogen plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate (n = 2229), or a matching placebo (n = 2303).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) and mild cognitive impairment (secondary outcome) were identified through a structured clinical assessment.

RESULTS: The mean (SD) time between the date of randomization into WHI and the last Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MSE) for all WHIMS participants was 4.05 (1.19) years. Overall, 61 women were diagnosed with probable dementia, 40 (66%) in the estrogen plus progestin group compared with 21 (34%) in the placebo group. The hazard ratio (HR) for probable dementia was 2.05 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-3.48; 45 vs 22 per 10 000 person-years; P =.01). This increased risk would result in an additional 23 cases of dementia per 10 000 women per year. Alzheimer disease was the most common classification of dementia in both study groups. Treatment effects on mild cognitive impairment did not differ between groups (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.74-1.55; 63 vs 59 cases per 10 000 person-years; P =.72).

CONCLUSIONS: Estrogen plus progestin therapy increased the risk for probable dementia in postmenopausal women aged 65 years or older. In addition, estrogen plus progestin therapy did not prevent mild cognitive impairment in these women. These findings, coupled with previously reported WHI data, support the conclusion that the risks of estrogen plus progestin outweigh the benefits.


Estrogen Plus Progestin and the Incidence of Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment in Postmenopausal Women: The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Shumaker SA, Legault C, Thal L, Wallace RB, Ockene JK, Hendrix SL, Jones BN 3rd, Assaf AR, Jackson RD, Morley Kotchen J, Wassertheil-Smoller S, Wactawski-Wende J.

Department of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC.

JAMA 2003 May 28;289(20):2651-62 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: Postmenopausal women have a greater risk than men of developing Alzheimer disease, but studies of the effects of estrogen therapy on Alzheimer disease have been inconsistent. On July 8, 2002, the study drugs, estrogen plus progestin, in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trial were discontinued because of certain increased health risks in women receiving combined hormone therapy.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of estrogen plus progestin on the incidence of dementia and mild cognitive impairment compared with placebo.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The Women's Health Initiative Memory Study (WHIMS), a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, began enrolling participants from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) estrogen plus progestin trial in May 1996. Of the 4894 eligible participants of the WHI study, 4532 (92.6%) postmenopausal women free of probable dementia, aged 65 years or older, and recruited from 39 of 40 WHI clinical centers were enrolled in the WHIMS.

INTERVENTION: Participants received either 1 daily tablet of 0.625 mg of conjugated equine estrogen plus 2.5 mg of medroxyprogesterone acetate (n = 2229), or a matching placebo (n = 2303).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of probable dementia (primary outcome) and mild cognitive impairment (secondary outcome) were identified through a structured clinical assessment. RESULTS: The mean (SD) time between the date of randomization into WHI and the last Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MSE) for all WHIMS participants was 4.05 (1.19) years. Overall, 61 women were diagnosed with probable dementia, 40 (66%) in the estrogen plus progestin group compared with 21 (34%) in the placebo group. The hazard ratio (HR) for probable dementia was 2.05 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.21-3.48; 45 vs 22 per 10 000 person-years; P =.01). This increased risk would result in an additional 23 cases of dementia per 10 000 women per year. Alzheimer disease was the most common classification of dementia in both study groups. Treatment effects on mild cognitive impairment did not differ between groups (HR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.74-1.55; 63 vs 59 cases per 10 000 person-years; P =.72).

CONCLUSIONS: Estrogen plus progestin therapy increased the risk for probable dementia in postmenopausal women aged 65 years or older. In addition, estrogen plus progestin therapy did not prevent mild cognitive impairment in these women. These findings, coupled with previously reported WHI data, support the conclusion that the risks of estrogen plus progestin outweigh the benefits.


Hormone replacement therapy and incidence of Alzheimer disease in older women: the cache county study.

Zandi PP, Carlson MC, Plassman BL, Welsh-Bohmer KA, Mayer LS, Steffens DC, Breitner JC.

GRECC (S-182), VA Puget Sound Health Care System, 1660 S Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108.

JAMA 2002 Nov 6;288(17):2123-9 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: Previous studies have shown a sex-specific increased risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) in women older than 80 years. Basic neuroscience findings suggest that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could reduce a woman's risk of AD. Epidemiologic findings on AD and HRT are mixed.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the relationship between use of HRT and risk of AD among elderly women.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Prospective study of incident dementia among 1357 men (mean age, 73.2 years) and 1889 women (mean age, 74.5 years) residing in a single county in Utah. Participants were first assessed in 1995-1997, with follow-up conducted in 1998-2000. History of women's current and former use of HRT, as well as of calcium and multivitamin supplements, was ascertained at the initial contact.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Diagnosis of incident AD.

RESULTS: Thirty-five men (2.6%) and 88 women (4.7%) developed AD between the initial interview and time of the follow-up (3 years). Incidence among women increased after age 80 years and exceeded the risk among men of similar age (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 2.11; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.22-3.86). Women who used HRT had a reduced risk of AD (26 cases among 1066 women) compared with non-HRT users (58 cases among 800 women) (adjusted HR, 0.59; 95% CI, 0.36-0.96). Risk varied with duration of HRT use, so that a woman's sex-specific increase in risk disappeared entirely with more than 10 years of treatment (7 cases among 427 women). Adjusted HRs were 0.41 (95% CI, 0.17-0.86) for HRT users compared with nonusers and 0.77 (95% CI, 0.31-1.67) compared with men. No similar effect was seen with calcium or multivitamin use. Almost all of the HRT-related reduction in incidence reflected former use of HRT (9 cases among 490 women; adjusted HR, 0.33 [95% CI, 0.15-0.65]). There was no effect with current HRT use (17 cases among 576 women; adjusted HR, 1.08 [95% CI, 0.59-1.91]) unless duration of treatment exceeded 10 years (6 cases among 344 women; adjusted HR, 0.55 [95% CI, 0.21-1.23]).

CONCLUSIONS: Prior HRT use is associated with reduced risk of AD, but there is no apparent benefit with current HRT use unless such use has exceeded 10 years.

HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY-OVARIAN CANCER  


Menopausal hormone replacement therapy and risk of ovarian cancer.

Lacey JV Jr, Mink PJ, Lubin JH, Sherman ME, Troisi R, Hartge P, Schatzkin A, Schairer C.

National Cancer Institute, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, 6120 Executive Blvd, MSC 7234, Rockville, MD 20852.

JAMA 2002 Jul 17;288(3):334-41 Abstract quote

CONTEXT: The association between menopausal hormone replacement therapy and ovarian cancer is unclear.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether hormone replacement therapy using estrogen only, estrogen-progestin only, or both estrogen only and estrogen-progestin increases ovarian cancer risk.

DESIGN: A 1979-1998 cohort study of former participants in the Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project, a nationwide breast cancer screening program.

SETTING: Twenty-nine US clinical centers.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 44 241 postmenopausal women (mean age at start of follow-up, 56.6 years).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Incident ovarian cancer.

RESULTS: We identified 329 women who developed ovarian cancer during follow-up. In time-dependent analyses adjusted for age, menopause type, and oral contraceptive use, ever use of estrogen only was significantly associated with ovarian cancer (rate ratio [RR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.0). Increasing duration of estrogen-only use was significantly associated with ovarian cancer: RRs for 10 to 19 years and 20 or more years were 1.8 (95% CI, 1.1-3.0) and 3.2 (95% CI, 1.7-5.7), respectively (P value for trend <.001), and we observed a 7% (95% CI, 2%-13%) increase in RR per year of use. We observed significantly elevated RRs with increasing duration of estrogen-only use across all strata of other ovarian cancer risk factors, including women with hysterectomy. The RR for estrogen-progestin use after prior estrogen-only use was 1.5 (95% CI, 0.91-2.4), but the RR for estrogen-progestin-only use was 1.1 (95% CI, 0.64-1.7). The RRs for less than 2 years and 2 or more years of estrogen-progestin-only use were 1.6 (95% CI, 0.78-3.3) and 0.80 (95% CI, 0.35-1.8), respectively, and there was no evidence of a duration response (P value for trend =.30).

CONCLUSION: Women who used estrogen-only replacement therapy, particularly for 10 or more years, were at significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer in this study. Women who used short-term estrogen-progestin-only replacement therapy were not at increased risk, but risk associated with short-term and longer-term estrogen-progestin replacement therapy warrants further investigation.

 

CLINICAL VARIANTS CHRACTERIZATION
TRUE HERMAPHRODITISM AND MIXED GONADAL DYSGENESIS  


True hermaphroditism and mixed gonadal dysgenesis in young children: a clinicopathologic study of 10 cases.

Kim KR, Kwon Y, Joung JY, Kim KS, Ayala AG, Ro JY.

Departments of Pathology (K-RK, YK, JYR) and Urology (JYJ, KSK), University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

 

Mod Pathol 2002 Oct;15(10):1013-9 Abstract quote

True hermaphroditism (TH) refers to individuals who have both unequivocal ovarian tissue and testicular elements regardless of their karyotypes; whereas mixed gonadal dysgenesis (MGD) refers to individuals who usually have a differentiated gonad on one side and a streak gonad or streak testis on the other side. A differential diagnosis between the TH and MGD has important clinical implications for gender assignment and the decision for early gonadectomy; however, variable clinical and histological features frequently lead to the confusion of TH with MGD.

We reviewed the clinicopathological features of TH (n = 4) and MGD (n = 6) in young children to identify which morphological features are important for a differential diagnosis between the two conditions. In both conditions, the testicular compartment was composed of immature seminiferous tubules lined by immature Sertoli cells and primitive germ cells; this finding was not helpful for a differential diagnosis. The ovarian compartment in TH cases showed numerous primordial follicles containing primary oocytes with a few primary or antral follicles; however, ovarian compartments in patients with MGD were characterized by primitive sex-cordlike structures with or without germ cell components within the ovarian-type stroma, mimicking gonadoblastomas in two cases and granulosa cell or Sertoli cell tumors in three cases. Hormonal profiles, cytogenetic results, and an internal duct system were not helpful in a differential diagnosis.

In conclusion, a differential diagnosis between TH and MGD is largely dependent on the histological features of the gonads. Therefore, examination of all resected or biopsied tissue and the application of strict histological criteria are important.

MALIGNANT MESONEPHRIC TUMORS  

Malignant mesonephric tumors of the female genital tract: a clinicopathologic study of 9 cases.

Bague S, Rodriguez IM, Prat J.

Department of Pathology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 May;28(5):601-7. Abstract quote  

Nine malignant mesonephric tumors were obtained from the consultation files of one of the authors (J.P.) over a 13-year period (1988-2001). There were 4 adenocarcinomas (ACs) and 5 malignant mixed mesonephric tumors (MMMTs).

The ACs were found in the cervix (3) and vagina (1). The MMMTs involved the uterus (1), cervix (3), and vagina (1). Most patients presented with abnormal vaginal bleeding. The 4 patients with mesonephric AC ranged in age from 24 to 54 years (mean, 41 years). The tumors measured 2 to 6 cm (mean, 3.7 cm). Two ACs were stage I and two were stage II. Two of the three patients with follow-up information were alive without clinical evidence of disease at 3 and 11.5 years, and the other was alive with recurrent tumor 8.5 years postoperatively. The 5 patients with MMMTs ranged in age from 37 to 62 years (mean, 49 years). The mean size of four tumors was 5.2 cm (range, 3.5-8 cm). The uterine MMMT infiltrated the entire myometrial wall extending to the endometrial cavity where it resembled an endometrial polyp.

Although the most common histologic pattern in the current series was the glandular (ductal) pattern, retiform, tubular, and solid growth patterns were also encountered. Among the MMMT subgroup, the sarcomatous component was homologous in 3 cases (endometrial stromal or spindle cell) and heterologous in the other 2 cases (skeletal muscle and cartilage). Of the 4 patients with follow-up information available, 1 (stage II) died of disease 7 months after surgery, another (stage IV) was alive with bone metastases at 3.3 years, and the other 2 patients (stages IB and IC) had no clinical evidence of disease at 1 and 3.7 years, respectively. Evidence of mesonephric hyperplasia was found in 5 (42%) cases. The MMMT that arose in the corpus presented as an endometrial polyp. In this case, histologic differential diagnosis includes serous carcinoma, endometrial stromal sarcoma, and uterine tumor resembling ovarian sex cord-stromal tumor.

Immunostainings are not helpful. Mesonephric ACs often present in early stage and have better prognosis than their mullerian counterparts. Surgery alone appears to be the treatment of choice.

In contrast, MMMTs may present in advanced stage and are agressive tumors, similar to malignant mixed mullerian tumors.

 

SPECIAL STAINS/
IMMUNOPEROXIDASE
CHARACTERIZATION
CD10  


CD10 Expression in Epithelial Tissues and Tumors of the Gynecologic Tract: A Useful Marker in the Diagnosis of Mesonephric, Trophoblastic, and Clear Cell Tumors.

Ordi J, Romagosa C, Tavassoli FA, Nogales F, Palacin A, Condom E, Torne A, Cardesa A.

 

Am J Surg Pathol 2003 Feb;27(2):178-86 Abstract quote

We tested 417 cases of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded normal or hyperplastic gynecologic tissues as well as neoplasms involving the gynecologic tract with a monoclonal antibody against CD10 (clone 56C6), with special emphasis on epithelial and epithelial-like structures and tumors.

CD10 was always expressed in mesonephric remnants (mesonephric remnants of the uterine cervix, epoophoron, rete ovarii) and tumors (mesonephric adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix, tumors of wolffian origin of the broad ligament and ovary). CD10 was also positive in the syncytiotrophoblast, cytotrophoblast, and intermediate trophoblast of normal gestations, partial and complete moles, choriocarcinoma, and placental site trophoblastic tumors. Finally, CD10 was positive in several metastatic neoplasms to the gynecologic tract (100% in metastatic renal clear cell and intestinal carcinomas and melanomas). In contrast, CD10 was almost invariably negative in mullerian epithelia of the female genital tract and in their corresponding tumors, with the exception of focal expression found in squamous epithelia and tumors with squamous differentiation.

Thus, the expression of CD10 may be useful in the establishing the diagnosis of mesonephric and trophoblastic tumors and in the differential diagnosis between gynecologic clear cell carcinoma (always negative) and metastatic clear cell carcinoma of renal origin.

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Weedon D. Weedon's Skin Pathology Second Edition. Churchill Livingstone. 2002
Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 5th Edition. McGraw-Hill. 1999.
Weiss SW and Goldblum JR. Enzinger and Weiss's Soft Tissue Tumors. Fourth Edition. Mosby 2001.


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