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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2018 Jul 2. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2017-0575-RA. [Epub ahead of print]

Inflammatory Myofibrobalstic Tumor in Female Genital Tract.

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From the Department of Pathology, New York University Langone Health, New York City.



- Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor is a mesenchymal neoplasm of low malignant potential. It was first described in lung, but is known to occur in many extrapulmonary sites including female genital organs, most commonly the uterus. It has a high recurrence rate and a low risk for metastasis. A more recently described aggressive variant, epithelioid myofibroblastic sarcoma with a predilection for the abdominal cavity of males, has also been recently reported to occur in ovary. This tumor is composed of spindled and epithelioid myofibroblasts in a variably myxoid stroma and commonly shows a fascicular growth pattern with positive staining for desmin, smooth muscle actin, and CD10, which may mimic a smooth muscle or endometrial stromal neoplasm. In the female genital tract it has the potential for being misdiagnosed as a leiomyoma, endometrial stromal tumor, or as a myxoid leiomyosarcoma, resulting in undertreatment or overtreatment. It harbors rearrangements in the ALK gene, resulting in abnormal expression of ALK protein. Immunostaining for ALK is a helpful diagnostic tool.


- To provide a brief review of clinical, histologic, immunohistochemical, and molecular features of inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor with emphasis on possible diagnostic pitfalls in the female genital tract.


- Review of pertinent literature on inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor occurring in the female genital tract and personal experience of the authors.


- Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor in the female genital tract can mimic other more common benign and malignant tumors like leiomyoma, leiomyosarcoma, and endometrial stromal sarcoma. Familiarity with clinical and histologic features and use of ALK immunostaining can be critical for correct diagnosis.


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