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Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2011 Jan;30(1):64-70. doi: 10.1097/PGP.0b013e3181efbe29.

Immunohistochemical characteristics of atypical polypoid adenomyoma with special reference to h-caldesmon.

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  • 1Division of Pathology, Sagamihara National Hospital, Minami-ku, Kanagawa, Japan.


Atypical polypoid adenomyoma (APA) is a relatively rare benign uterine tumor, histologically characterized by proliferation of irregular endometrioid glands accompanied by stromal cells of smooth muscle origin. As the epithelial components of APA usually show cytological atypia, a differential diagnosis between this tumor and endometrioid carcinoma invading myometrium is often difficult, especially in curettage material. This distinction is clinically very important to avoid unnecessary hysterectomy. However, only a few immunohistochemical studies of APA that differentiate it from malignancy have been published. Therefore, we have investigated the expression of several antigens in APA and compared them with those present in myoinvasive carcinoma. Six specimens of APA were studied, along with controls of endometrioid carcinoma invading myometrium. Antibodies to p53, Ki-67, CD10, and h-caldesmon reacted positively using immunohistochemistry. Variable positive expressions of p53 and Ki-67 were observed in both epithelial and stromal components of APA, and in myoinvasive endometrioid carcinoma. CD10 was negative or partially and weakly positive whereas h-caldesmon was completely negative in the stromal cells of all 6 specimens of APA. However, in the myometrium in which endometrioid carcinoma invaded, a fringe-like positive staining pattern was occasionally observed for CD10, whereas a diffuse positive signal was obtained for h-caldesmon. The results of this study indicate that immunohistochemically, p53, and Ki-67 are not reliable markers but that h-caldesmon is useful in distinguishing APA from myoinvasive endometrioid carcinoma. Further, our data suggest that the stromal cells of APA are mainly immature smooth muscle cells, and thus APA may be a mixed tumor.

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