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Semin Diagn Pathol. 1997 Aug;14(3):213-9.

Clear cell tumors of the alimentary tract and abdominal cavity.

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Division of Surgical Pathology, Washington University Medical Center, St Louis, MO, USA.


Clear cell neoplasms of the abdominal organs are represented by a variety of epithelial and mesenchymal neoplasms, of varying malignant potential. Several varieties of clear cell carcinomas, including those with tubulopapillary, hepatoid, colloid, or neuroendocrine features, have been described, as well as several benign epithelial neoplasms. These epithelial tumors have been reported in the gastrointestinal hollow viscera, as well as the liver, pancreas, and biliary tract. A second major consideration is the mesenchymal-derived gastrointestinal stromal tumors, which also may feature clear cells, and comprise a spectrum of biological behavior. Miscellaneous lesions include clear cell variants of melanoma and mesothelioma. This review includes histological details of the various entities, as well as important histochemical, immunohistological, and ultrastructural features. Pertinent differential diagnostic points are stressed, including distinction of the primary clear lesions from relevant metastatic neoplasms.

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