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Small-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix: a clinicopathologic study of 11 cases
  1. S. Tsunoda*,
  2. T. Jobo*,
  3. M. Arai*,
  4. M. Imai*,
  5. T. Kanai*,
  6. T. Tamura*,
  7. J. Watanabe,
  8. A. Obokata and
  9. H. Kuramoto
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, Kanagawa, Japan
  2. Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, Kanagawa, Japan
  3. Department of Clinical Cytology, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kitasato University, Kanagawa, Japan
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Shinpei Tsunoda, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Kitasato University, 1-15-1 Kitasato, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 228-8555, Japan. Email: shintsu{at}


We report the clinical profiles and immunohistochemical features of small-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix. Eleven cases that we have encountered at the Department of Gynecology, Kitasato University Hospital, between 1971 and 2003 are presented. Of 1370 invasive carcinomas of the uterine cervix, the incidence of small-cell carcinoma was 0.8%. Patient ages ranged between 32 and 65 years, with a mean age of 46.3 years. The clinical stages at diagnosis were Ib in four patients, IIb in three, IIIb in three, and IVb in one. All patients presented with abnormal vaginal bleeding. Two patients who are alive with no evidence of disease for 12 years and 3 years 6 months, while eight patients died of primary carcinoma between 4 and 25 months after treatment. Histopathologic findings showed solid nests with marked peripheral palisading pattern and rosette formation. Small tumor cells with scant cytoplasm demonstrated a very high nuclear/cytoplasm ratio and indistinct cell borders. The nuclei were round to oval and demonstrated increased but fine granular chromatin. Nucleoli were indistinct in all cases. Immunohistochemical findings were positive in 81.8% each for neuron-specific enolase and protein gene product 9.5, 72.7% for synaptophysin, 63.6% for chromogranin A, and 54.5% for neural cell adhesion molecule. All specimens were positive for at least one of the above. In conclusion, small-cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix revealed poor prognosis. Making an accurate diagnosis of small-cell carcinoma before performing treatment is of great significance but often difficult. Immunohistochemical analysis using several kinds of neuroendocrine markers is helpful in establishing the correct diagnosis in addition to focusing on characteristic histo- and cytopathologic features

  • immunohistochemical study
  • neuroendocrine feature
  • small-cell carcinoma
  • uterine cervix

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