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Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2003 Jul;22(3):266-71.

Hepatoid carcinoma of the ovary: a report of three cases admixed with a common surface epithelial carcinoma.

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Department of Molecular Pathalogy, Chiba University Graduate School of Medicine, Chiba University Hospital, Chiba, Japan.


Hepatoid carcinoma of the ovary is an ovarian carcinoma that has phenotypic properties in common with hepatocellular carcinomas. However, the extent of the tumor cells' similarity to and their difference from hepatocytes is largely unknown. In addition, the precursor cell of origin for hepatoid carcinoma of the ovary has not been identified. Three cases of alpha-fetoprotein-producing hepatoid carcinoma of the ovary that were admixed with an adenocarcinoma of common surface epithelial type are reported. The hepatoid carcinomas had a trabecular architecture with canaliculi detected by polyclonal (but not monoclonal) anticarcinoembryonic antigen antibodies. A hepatic phenotype in the hepatoid tumor cells was further supported by the production of albumin mRNA by in situ hybridization. The adenocarcinomas in the three cases were mucinous (Case 1), serous (Case 2), and endometrioid (Case 3), respectively. The cytokeratin (CK) profile in both the hepatoid and adenocarcinomatous components was CK18+/CK19+/CK20+/-, whereas normal and neoplastic hepatocytes were CK18+/CK19-/CK20-. Although this study supports a hepatic phenotype in ovarian hepatoid carcinoma, the CK profile of hepatoid carcinoma differs from that of normal and neoplastic hepatocytes but resembles that of the associated common epithelial adenocarcinoma. These findings suggest that hepatoid carcinoma of the ovary is probably derived from carcinomas of surface epithelial origin by a process of neometaplasia or transdifferentiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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