Two cases of cervical carcinoma and two cases of normal ectocervical epithelium with a squamous signet-ring cell component are presented. In one carcinoma the vacuolization was so prominent that it partially obliterated the epithelial pattern of the tumor. Paraffin specimens were studied with a panel of histo- and immunohistochemical stains and by electron microscopy. The vacuoles of the squamous signet-ring cells did not contain glycogen, mucopolysaccharides or masses of intermediate filaments. The findings are discussed in relation to possible human papillomavirus and Chlamydia trachomatis infection. The true nature and possible clinicopathologic implications of the squamous carcinoma with signet-ring cells remain to be established, but the phenomenon may cause diagnostic difficulties, especially in biopsy specimens.
- cervix uteri
- signet-ring cell
- squamous carcinoma.
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