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Cancer Cytopathol. 2010 Apr 25;118(2):97-104. doi: 10.1002/cncy.20072.

Detection of chromosomal anomalies in endometrial atypical hyperplasia and carcinoma by using fluorescence in situ hybridization.

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  • 1Bostwick Laboratories, 4355 Innslake Drive, Glen Allen, VA 23060, USA.



Endometrial cancer is the most common pelvic gynecological malignancy. The diagnosis of well-differentiated endometrial adenocarcinoma, atypical hyperplasia, and hyperplasia is often challenging. The authors sought to investigate the utility of chromosomal anomalies for the detection of endometrial hyperplasia and carcinoma using multitarget fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH).


Samples were collected by endometrial Tao brush and processed by liquid-based cytological preparation protocol from consecutive cases to include 50 benign, 50 hyperplasia without atypia, 47 atypical hyperplasia, and 53 endometrial cancers. Each was hybridized using fluorescence-labeled DNA probes to chromosomes 1, 8, and 10. The FISH signals were enumerated in 100 cells per case, and the chromosomal anomalies were correlated with pathologic findings, including histologic diagnoses on matched endometrial tissue samples.


Numeric chromosomal anomalies were found in 0% (0 of 50) of benign, 20% (10 of 50) of hyperplasia, 74% (35 of 47) of atypical hyperplasia, and 87% (46 of 53) of carcinoma specimens. The mean percentage of cells with chromosomal changes was 55% in cancer specimens, which was significantly higher than that in hyperplasia without atypia (13%, P < .0001) and atypical hyperplasia (32%, P = .003). The most frequent chromosomal anomaly was gain of chromosome 1. FISH anomalies had an overall sensitivity of 81% and specificity of 90% for the detection of atypical hyperplasia and/or endometrial carcinoma. There was no association with grade of endometrial carcinoma.


Multitarget FISH appears to be useful for the differential diagnosis of hyperplasia, atypical hyperplasia, and endometrial adenocarcinoma, with a high level of sensitivity and specificity. It is also a potential tool for the early detection of neoplastic cells in endometrial cytology specimens. Endometrial hyperplasia with FISH-detected chromosomal anomalies may represent a clinically significant subset of cases that warrant close clinical follow-up.

(c) 2010 American Cancer Society.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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