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Acta Cytol. 2006 Jul-Aug;50(4):418-22.

Glassy cell carcinoma of the cervix: cytologic features and expression of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and Her2/neu protein.

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Department of Pathology, Saitama Medical Center, Saitama Medical School, Saitama, Japan.



To analyze the cytologic features, estrogen and progesterone receptors, and Her2/neu protein in glassy cell carcinoma (GCC) of the cervix.


Cases were analyzed using various parameters, including age at presentation, stage, treatment and clinical course. Between 1990 and 2003, patients with primary cervical carcinomas were treated and cytopathologic analyses performed. Tests for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and Her2/neu protein were performed on paraffin sections.


GCC of the cervix is composed of large cells with abundant chromatin, which gives them their characteristic glassy appearance. Eleven cases were identified as GCC. One case (9.1%) was correctly diagnosed from the cervicovaginal smear. Among the GCC cases, ER, PR and Her2/neu were positive in 2 (18.1%), 1 (9.1%) and 5 (45.4%) cases, respectively.


Cytology of GCC reveals characteristic features that differ from those of other carcinomas of the cervix. GCC has unique cytologic characteristics and causes diagnostic confusion, possibly leading to incorrect diagnoses. The reason for such low diagnostic precision in cytology might be due to the lack of differentiation and low frequency of this tumor. Our results, demonstrating Her2/ neu overexpression, may correlate with more aggressive behavior and a worse clinical outcome.

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