Cervix - Cytology
Glassy cell carcinoma

Author: Ashwyna Sunasssee, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor: Ryan Askeland, M.D.

Revised: 3 May 2017, last major update February 2015

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Glassy cell carcinoma [title] cervix cytology
Cite this page: Glassy cell carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologyglassycell.html. Accessed October 23rd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Younger patients
  • Peak incidence 3rd to 4th decades (Cytojournal 2013;10:17)
  • Some studies have noted an association with pregnancy
Prognostic factors
  • HER2 overexpression may correlate with more aggressive behavior and worse clinical outcome (Acta Cytol 2006;50:418)
Case reports
Gross description
Cytology description
  • Tumor cells arranged in sheets or clusters
  • Distinct cell borders with moderate to abundant finely granular (ground-glass-like) cytoplasm
  • Large round/oval vesicular nuclei with one or more prominent nucleoli
  • Chromatin varies from finely dispersed (Acta Cytol 2004;48:99) to coarse and irregular (Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi 2011;40:523)
  • Cytoplasmic vacuolization and bizarre cells with multinucleation may be seen (Acta Cytol 2001;45:407)
  • Mitotic figures frequently seen
  • Background inflammatory infiltrate including frequent eosinophils, neutrophils, plasma cells, lymphocytes and necrotic debris
  • Focal abortive keratin production; squamous or glandular differentiation may be present
  • Focal clear cell differentiation may be present
Clinical images

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Cells arranged in sheets,
abundant granular cytoplasm