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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2014 Mar;138(3):351-62. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2012-0547-RA.

Germ cell tumors of the ovary: an update.

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From the Department of Pathology, San Cecilio University Hospital, Granada, Spain (Drs Nogales and Dulcey); and Department of Research and Development, Master Diagnostica, Granada, Spain (Dr Preda).



The field of ovarian germ cell tumors (OGCTs) has remained relatively unchanged in the last 2 decades. However, the introduction of new stem cell pluripotency markers has provided a new understanding into the identification and taxonomy of OGCT types. New data have provided new insights into unusual teratoma-associated autoimmune disorders and the origin of gliomatosis peritonei.


To review the impact of new pluripotency markers in the diagnosis of malignant OGCT (MOGCT) and analyze new nomenclature proposals and clinicopathologic entities.


Ovarian germ cell tumors from routine material and expert consultation files at San Cecilio University Hospital, Granada, Spain, and the relevant literature were reviewed.


Although a correct diagnosis of MOGCT can often be made with histologic and classic immunohistochemical studies, the new immunohistochemical pluripotency markers give higher diagnostic accuracy. Germ cell tumors represent a caricature of the phases of normal embryonic differentiation from primordial germ and stem cells to extraembryonal and somatic tissue differentiation. Since every stage of differentiation and its related tumor type exhibit characteristic markers, the analysis of their expression facilitates tumor typing, thus complementing the use of classic antibodies. They also allow a more precise evaluation of the degree of immaturity in teratoma. The new term, primitive endodermal tumors, simplifies the understanding of the complex histology of the yolk sac tumor group, as this terminology encompasses its multiple endodermal differentiations. Recently described autoimmune encephalitis due to antibodies against the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor has become the most frequent autoimmune disorder associated with ovarian teratoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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