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Acta Cytol. 2001 May-Jun;45(3):407-10.

Glassy cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Report of a case with cytohistologic and immunohistochemical study.

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Pathology Division and Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Federal University of ParanĂ¡, ParanĂ¡, Brazil.



Glassy cell carcinomas of the uterine cervix are poorly differentiated carcinomas composed of cells with a large, round to oval nucleus containing one or multiple prominent nucleoli, finely vacuolated eosinophilic to amphophilic cytoplasm and distinct cell borders. These cells occur in sheets and chords, with fibrovascular septae presenting a mixed inflammatory infiltrate. This neoplasm has a poor response to radiotherapy and a worse prognosis than the usual types of adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. There are few reports on the cytologic and histopathologic features of this neoplasm.


A 56-year-old woman presented with a large, exophytic cervical tumor. Exfoliative cytology showed clusters of cells and single cells with large, round to oval nuclei, with one or multiple nucleoli and moderate to large, finely granulated cytoplasm with distinct cell borders. The background of the smears had a polymorphous inflammatory infiltrate, necrotic debris and proteinaceous material. A high mitotic rate was observed, as were rare bizarre and atypical multinucleated cells. There was no evidence of koilocytes. These findings were highly suggestive of glassy cell carcinoma and were confirmed by the histologic and immunocytochemical findings, with positivity for cytokeratin (MNF116), vimentin and carcinoembryonic antigen and negativity for HMB-45.


Glassy cell carcinoma of the cervix presents a cytologic picture that can be highly suggestive of the diagnosis in typical cases; however, in difficult cases ancillary techniques, such as immunocytochemistry, as well as histologic findings might confirm the diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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