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Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi. 2001 Apr;30(2):114-7.

[Expression of cytokeratin 7 and 20 in ovarian metastatic carcinomas].

[Article in Chinese]

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Peking University People's Hospital, Beijing 100044, China.



To study the distinctive clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical difference between ovarian metastatic carcinomas and primary ovarian carcinomas.


The clinical and pathological features of 27 cases of ovarian metastatic carcinomas (gastric carcinomas 12 cases, colon carcinomas 11 cases, others 4 cases) obtained from our department were reviewed. Immunostainings for CK (AE1/AE3), CK7, CK20, CEA, vimentin, nm23 were performed with SP staining methods.


On gross examination, metastasis from gastric adenocarcinoma were usually bilateral, while solid (11/12) and metastases from colonic adenocarcinoma were more often unilateral and cystic (7/11). Microscopically, metastases from gastric adenocarcinoma revealed signet ring cells or poorly differentiated adenocarcinomas (12/12), whereas metastases from colonic adenocarcinomas showed similar morphology of endometrioid adenocarcinoma (8/11). The majority of ovarian metastases of gastric carcinoma (7/12) and colon carcinoma (8/11) were CK20 positive. In particular, CK20 was invariably expressed in colon cancer metastases. Most of the ovarian metastatic carcinomas from the gastrointestinal tract failed to react with immunostaining of CK7. A combined use of CEA, vimentin and nm23 had made a correct classification for 11/12 cases of the gastric carcinoma, 10/11 cases of the colonic cancer.


CK7 and CK20 have been proved to be useful antibodies in distinguishing between metastatic carcinomas and primary carcinomas of the ovary. Combined use of a panel of antibodies can give more significant results.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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