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Carcinoid tumors are rare germ cell tumors of the ovary. Some investigators have termed these monodermal teratomas. These tumors are very rare.


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Ovarian Mucinous Carcinoids Including Some With a Carcinomatous Component A Report of 17 Cases

Patricia M. Baker, etal.

Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:557-568 Abstract quote

Only rare primary mucinous (goblet cell) carcinoids of the ovary have been reported, and their clinicopathologic features have not been well delineated.

The authors studied 17 examples from patients 14 to 74 years of age.

The clinical presentations were similar to those of ovarian neoplasms in general. The tumors ranged from 0.8 to 30 cm in diameter. In six cases the tumor was in the wall of a mature cystic teratoma, appearing grossly as solid nodules or areas of thickening in four of them, six tumors were entirely solid, and five were solid associated with other types of cystic tumor.

The tumors were divided into three groups on the basis of their microscopic features. Six neoplasms, designated ``well differentiated,'' were composed of small glands, many of which floated in pools of mucin. The glands were lined by goblet cells and columnar cells, some of which were of neuroendocrine type. Three tumors, designated ``atypical,'' were characterized by crowded glands, some of which were confluent, small islands with a cribriform pattern, and scattered microcystic glands. The glands were lined by cuboidal to columnar cells, some of them neuroendocrine, admixed with goblet cells. Eight tumors, designated ``carcinoma arising in mucinous carcinoid,'' contained islands and larger nodules of tumor cells, or closely packed glands, as well as single cells, mainly of the signet ring cell type. Most of the cells were devoid of mucin and were severely atypical with marked mitotic activity. Necrosis was present in all eight tumors. Seven of the eight tumors with a carcinomatous component contained at least minor foci of well-differentiated mucinous carcinoid; the eighth contained only foci of atypical mucinous carcinoid.

The neuroendocrine nature of a variable proportion of the cells in all three groups was demonstrated by staining for neuroendocrine markers. The mucinous nature of other cells was confirmed by mucicarmine or Alcian blue stains. The ovary contained an intrinsic component of trabecular and insular carcinoid, and of strumal carcinoid in one case each, an adjacent mature cystic teratoma in six cases, mucinous cystadenocarcinoma in three cases, and borderline mucinous cystic tumor, borderline Brenner tumor, and epidermoid cyst in one case each.

Fifteen tumors were stage I, one was stage II, and one was stage III. The last two tumors had a carcinomatous component. Follow-up data were available for 15 patients; 12 were alive and free of tumor 2.3 to 14 years (average, 4.7 years) after the ovarian tumor was excised. One patient, whose tumor had a carcinomatous component, died 3 years postoperatively of unrelated causes. Two patients, both of whom had a carcinomatous component in their tumor, died 9 and 12 months postoperatively.

Primary mucinous carcinoids must be distinguished from metastatic mucinous carcinoid tumors from the appendix or elsewhere. Features supporting an ovarian origin are the additional presence in the specimen of teratoma or an ovarian surface epithelial tumor, an absence of blood vessel or lymphatic space invasion, and confinement to a single ovary. Similar features help to distinguish mucinous carcinoids from Krukenberg tumors. Mucinous carcinoids should also be distinguished from strumal carcinoids, which can contain mucinous glands, and insular carcinoid tumors that arise rarely in the wall of a mucinous cystic neoplasm. Although the number of cases in this series is small, the follow-up data suggest that the degree of differentiation, particularly the presence of frank carcinoma, is an important prognostic factor.

Comparative Analysis of Alternative and Traditional Immunohistochemical Markers for the Distinction of Ovarian Sertoli Cell Tumor From Endometrioid Tumors and Carcinoid Tumor: A Study of 160 Cases.

*Department of Gynecologic and Breast Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC daggerDivision of Gynecologic Pathology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.


Am J Surg Pathol. 2007 Feb;31(2):255-266. Abstract quote

The main neoplasms in the differential diagnosis for primary ovarian tumors with a tubule-rich pattern are pure Sertoli cell tumor, endometrioid tumors (including borderline tumor, well-differentiated carcinoma, and the sertoliform variant of endometrioid carcinoma), and carcinoid tumor. Because traditional immunohistochemical markers [pan-cytokeratin (pan-CK), low molecular weight cytokeratin (CK8/18), epithelial membrane antigen (EMA), inhibin, calretinin, CD99, chromogranin, and synaptophysin] can occasionally have diagnostic limitations, the goal of this study was to determine whether or not any alternative markers [cytokeratin 7 (CK7), estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), CD10, and CD56] have better diagnostic utility when compared with traditional markers for this differential diagnosis.

Immunohistochemical stains for alternative, as well as traditional, markers were performed on the following primary ovarian tumors: pure Sertoli cell tumor (n=40), endometrioid borderline tumor (n=38), sertoliform endometrioid carcinoma (n=13), well-differentiated endometrioid carcinoma (n=27), and carcinoid tumor (n=42). Extent and intensity of immunostaining were semiquantitatively scored. In addition, immunohistochemical composite scores (ICSs) in positive cases were calculated on the basis of the combination of extent and intensity scores. Cytokeratin 7 (CK7) was positive in 97% of endometrioid tumors, 13% of Sertoli cell tumors, and 24% of carcinoid tumors. The differences in the mean ICSs for endometrioid tumors versus Sertoli cell tumor or carcinoid tumor were statistically significant (P values ranging from <0.001 to 0.018). ER and PR were positive in 87% and 86% of endometrioid tumors, 8% and 13% of Sertoli cell tumors, and 2% each of carcinoid tumors, respectively. The differences in the mean ICSs for endometrioid tumors versus Sertoli cell tumor were statistically significant (P values ranging from <0.001 to 0.012). Among the epithelial markers, EMA seemed to be the most discriminatory but only slightly better than CK7, ER, or PR. Pan-CK and CK8/18 were not helpful. CD10 showed overlapping patterns of expression in all categories of tumors. Among the sex cord markers, CD10 was markedly less useful than inhibin or calretinin; CD99 was not discriminatory. CD56 showed overlapping patterns of expression in all categories of tumors. Among the neuroendocrine markers, CD56 was less useful than chromogranin or synaptophysin.

When traditional immunohistochemical markers are problematic for the differential diagnosis of ovarian Sertoli cell tumor versus endometrioid tumors versus carcinoid tumor, adding CK7, ER, and/or PR to a panel of markers can be helpful. Endometrioid tumors more frequently express CK7, ER, and PR and show a greater extent of immunostaining in contrast to Sertoli cell tumor and carcinoid tumor. Compared with traditional epithelial markers, CK7, ER, and PR are nearly as advantageous as EMA. Inhibin is the most discriminatory sex cord marker, and CD10 is not helpful in the differential diagnosis. Chromogranin and synaptophysin are excellent discriminatory markers for carcinoid tumor, and CD56 is neither sufficiently sensitive nor specific enough for this differential diagnosis to warrant its use in routine practice.

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Last Updated February 8, 2007

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