Stains & CD markers
OCT 3/4

Editor-in-Chief: Debra L. Zynger, M.D.
Robert Terlević, M.D.
Semir Vranić, M.D., Ph.D.

Last author update: 23 January 2020
Last staff update: 5 September 2023

Copyright: 2002-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: OCT 3/4

Robert Terlević, M.D.
Semir Vranić, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2022: 9,373
Page views in 2023 to date: 7,682
Cite this page: Terlević R, Vranić S. OCT 3/4. website. Accessed October 2nd, 2023.
Definition / general
Essential features
  • Marker of germ cells, not expressed in somatic tissues
  • Strong diffuse nuclear expression seen in seminoma (dysgerminoma) and embryonal carcinoma components of germ cell neoplasia, including metastatic disease
  • Can be expressed focally in advanced epithelial and lymphatic malignancy
  • Nuclear staining, typically intense and diffuse
  • Cytoplasmic only staining in non germ cell derived tumors
Uses by pathologists
  • Marker for primary and metastatic germ cell derived tumors of the testis and ovary and extragonadal sites
  • Highly sensitive and specific for primary intracranial germinomas (Am J Surg Pathol 2005;29:368)
Prognostic factors
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Monika Ulamec, M.D., Ph.D., Debra Zynger, M.D. and Epitomics
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Normal seminiferous ducts

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In situ germ cell neoplasia

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Embryonal carcinoma

Seminoma: H&E

OCT 3/4

OCT 3/4

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OCT 3/4

Positive staining - normal
Positive staining - disease
Negative staining
Board review style question #1
    Which of the following testicular germ cell tumors consistently stain with OCT 3/4?

  1. Choriocarcinoma
  2. Embryonal carcinoma
  3. Immature teratoma
  4. Mature teratoma
  5. Yolk sac tumor
Board review style answer #1
B. Embryonal carcinoma

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Reference: OCT 3/4
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