Mesenchymal / mixed epithelial & mesenchymal tumors

Topic Completed: 1 May 2007

Minor changes: 5 April 2021

Copyright: 2007-2021, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Rhabdomyosarcoma cervix [title]

Branko Perunovic, D.M.
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Cite this page: Perunovic B. Rhabdomyosarcoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixrhabdomyosarcoma.html. Accessed June 23rd, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Rhabdomyosarcomas are divided into embryonal, botryoid (subtype of embryonal), alveolar or pleomorphic (anaplastic) subtypes
  • Embryonal type is most common; occurs in children; more common in vagina than cervix
  • Cases in older women often contain cartilage and have better prognosis
Case reports
Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma:

Other types:
Gross description
  • Botryoid cases have protrusion of grape-like masses (due to edema and myxoid stroma) from cervix into vagina
  • Surface is glistening and translucent
Gross images

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Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Botryoid - polypoid mass of rhabdomyoblasts at different maturational stages covered by attenuated epithelium; resembles vaginal tumor; often cambium layer beneath cervical epithelium in botryoid cases; often loose myxoid stroma, surface ulceration; may have cartilage in older women; variable mitotic rate
  • In young children, tumor cells may lack marked atypia and may blend in with normal, immature, cellular stroma
Microscopic (histologic) images

AFIP images

Cambian layer and edematous stroma

Edematous stroma

Cytology description
  • Loose clusters of spindled cells in a necrotic background; cells have mild nuclear atypia, thin nuclear membrane, fine chromatin pattern, partly clear nucleolus
Positive stains
Differential diagnosis
  • Adenosarcoma: fibrous stroma so no grape-like clusters, no edematous, leaf-like pattern resembling phyllodes tumor
  • Edematous mesodermal polyp: adult women, small, soft fleshy protuberances up to 1.5 cm, stroma is uniform, no cambium layer, no rhabdomyoblasts, may have widely scattered atypical stromal cells
  • Yolk sac tumor
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