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Reprod Sci. 2019 Feb 14:1933719119828095. doi: 10.1177/1933719119828095. [Epub ahead of print]

PAX8: A Highly Sensitive Marker for the Glands in Extragenital Endometriosis.

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1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.
2 Department of Gynecology, Osaka Central Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.
3 Pneumothorax Research Center and Division of Thoracic Surgery, Nissan Tamagawa Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


In cases of extragenital endometriosis or microscopic endometriosis lesions, pathological diagnosis can be challenging because endometriotic stroma and glands represent only a minor component of fibrotic endometriotic lesions. For better accuracy of diagnosis, the development of a sensitive and specific epithelial marker is beneficial. Previous studies showed that PAX8 is a highly sensitive and specific marker for primary and metastatic Mullerian epithelial tumors. Therefore, we sought to examine whether PAX8 is a highly sensitive marker for glands in extragenital endometriosis. Eight and 47 samples of ovarian endometrioma and extragenital endometriosis, respectively, were evaluated in this study. We calculated the percentage of samples positively immunostained for PAX8, CD10, estrogen receptor (ER), and progesterone receptor (PR). PAX8 was positive for endometriotic epithelial cells in 95.7% (45/47) of extragenital endometrioses and in 100% (8/8) of ovarian endometrioses. CD10 was positive for endometriotic stromal cells in 97.9% (46/47) of extragenital endometrioses. PAX8 was strongly positive for glands, even in a CD10-negative case. The expression of PAX8, CD10, and PR was not affected by preoperative hormonal therapy, and the positive rate of ER staining was significantly reduced by preoperative hormonal therapy. In conclusion, PAX8 is a highly sensitive epithelial marker for extragenital endometriosis. This specific expression was maintained under hormonal therapy. It is noteworthy that extragenital endometriosis maintains the expression of this lineage marker, although it occurs at various sites, and its cause and mechanism of development might be different. PAX8 nuclear expression can be useful in detecting extragenital endometriosis in clinical practice.


CD10; PAX8; extragenital endometriosis; marker


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