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Am J Surg Pathol. 2010 May;34(5):735-41. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e3181d6b8fd.

Metastatic carcinomas in the cervix mimicking primary cervical adenocarcinoma and adenocarcinoma in situ: report of a series of cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Metastatic tumors within the cervix are uncommon if one excludes endometrial carcinoma, which involves the cervix by direct spread. A variety of other neoplasms rarely metastasize to the cervix and, in most cases, the diagnosis is straightforward because of a combination of clinical and pathologic parameters, common features of metastatic carcinoma within the cervix including predominant involvement of the deep stroma, absence of surface involvement and of an in situ component, and prominent lymphovascular permeation. We describe 6 cases of metastatic adenocarcinoma involving the cervix with superficial "mucosal" involvement mimicking primary cervical adenocarcinoma or adenocarcinoma in situ. In 5 cases, the primary adenocarcinoma was in the ovary or peritoneum and was of serous (4 cases) or clear-cell (1 case) type. In the other case, the primary neoplasm was in the pancreas and this was initially interpreted as a primary cervical adenocarcinoma. In the cases of primary ovarian or peritoneal carcinoma, the mucosal tumor within the cervix, which was discovered at the same time as the ovarian or peritoneal neoplasm, raised the possibility of synchronous independent lesions or metastasis from the cervix to the ovary or peritoneum. Positive staining for WT1, p53, and estrogen receptor in the cases of serous carcinoma and an absence of human papillomavirus by linear array genotyping in all cases was of value in excluding a primary cervical neoplasm, although these ancillary studies are supplementary to microscopic examination. In those cases with an ovarian or peritoneal primary, the likely pathogenesis of the cervical involvement is transtubal and intrauterine spread. It is important for the pathologist to be aware of the possibility of cervical mucosal metastasis to avoid an erroneous diagnosis of a primary cervical adenocarcinoma or adenocarcinoma in situ.

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