Clear cell carcinoma (adenocarcinoma)

Author: Branko Perunovic , M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 9 May 2017, last major update May 2007

Copyright: (c) 2007-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Clear cell carcinoma [title] cervix

Cite this page: Cervix - Clear cell carcinoma (adenocarcinoma) . PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixclearcell.html. Accessed October 17th, 2017.
Definition / general
  • 4% of cervical adenocarcinomas; less common in cervix than ovary and endometrium
  • Most common form of cervical carcinoma in young women
  • Associated with in utero DES exposure (women born in 1950's, N Engl J Med 1987;316:514); also older women without DES exposure; rare in children
  • Good survival - 55% at 5 years and 40% at 10 years
Case reports
Gross description
  • Involvement of ectocervix (if DES exposure) or endocervical canal (no DES exposure)
  • May resemble cervical polyp
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Tubulocystic, solid, papillary or microcystic patterns of cells with abundant clear or eosinophilic cytoplasm, large irregular nuclei
  • Hobnailing of cells (nuclei protrude into lumina)
  • Intraglandular papillary projections
  • In situ changes at squamocolumnar junction
  • May have hyalinized stroma or papillary cores, may have eosinophilic material within tubules or cysts
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Tubulocystic pattern

Approaching mesonephric remnants

Clear cell carcinoma

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Clear cell carcinoma

Cytology description
Electron microscopy description
  • Continuous lamina densa, numerous mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum, abundant glycogen and blunt microvilli
  • Vesicular aggregates in nucleoplasm, perinuclear cytoplasm or between membranes of nuclear envelope (Acta Cytol 1976;20:262)
Electron microscopy images

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Clear cell carcinoma

Differential diagnosis
Additional references