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Hum Pathol. 2008 Oct;39(10):1459-64. doi: 10.1016/j.humpath.2008.02.008. Epub 2008 Jul 11.

Immunohistochemical profiling of cytokeratin expression by endometrial stroma sarcoma.

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Department of Pathology & Feist Weiller Cancer Center, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA.


Endometrial stromal sarcomas can be confused with several neoplasms because of their inconsistent and widely varied morphologic appearance and frequent immunohistochemical expression of a variety of antigens including cytokeratin. The resulting diagnostic challenge becomes problematic particularly in the diagnosis of metastases resulting from such tumors. Because of the sometime epithelioid appearance of the tumor cells and their expression of cytokeratin, the metastases may be misdiagnosed as poorly differentiated carcinoma. We therefore studied the profile of cytokeratin proteins expression in 17 cases of endometrial stromal sarcomas using a panel of antibodies including cytokeratin cocktail antibody (AE1/AE 3), CK5/6, CK7, CK14, CK16, Cam5.2 (CK8), CK19, CK20, and 34Ebeta12 (CK1, 5, 10, and 14). Of the 17 cases, 8 (47%) stained positive with the cytokeratin cocktail antibody (AE1/AE 3). Of the 8 cases with cytokeratin expression, 5 (63%) stained positive with CK19, and 3 of them stained positive with Cam5.2. The 3 cases that stained positive with Cam5.2 also expressed CK19. Of the 5 cases with CK19, 1 was focally positive for CK5/6, CK7, and 34Ebeta12. None of the cases expressed CK14, CK16, or CK20. These results show that CK19 is most commonly expressed cytokeratin in endometrial stromal tumors. Hence, the inclusion of CK19 in the panel of immunostains may help resolve the diagnostic confusion created by keratin expression in endometrial stromal sarcoma and may also help in the correct diagnosis of endometrial stromal sarcoma at extrauterine sites.

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