Cervical and peritoneal fluid cytology of uterine sarcomas

Acta Cytol. 2002 May-Jun;46(3):465-9. doi: 10.1159/000326862.


Objective: To study the cytologic features of uterine sarcoma.

Study design: The pathology records of 102 patients with uterine sarcoma were reviewed. Four patients, including one case of leiomyosarcoma (LMS), one high grade stromal sarcoma (HGSS) and two malignant mixed müllerian tumor (MMMT), had abnormal cervical and/or peritoneal cytologic findings. Three abnormal cervical smears and two abnormal peritoneal fluids from these patients, including immunohistochemically stained sections of cell block, were reviewed.

Results: The diagnostic cells appeared in clusters or in isolation. They had enlarged and hyperchromatic nuclei. Occasional mitotic figures were seen. The cells were considered suspicious for malignancy in cervical smears of HGSS and in the peritoneal fluid of LMS. Adenocarcinoma cells were identified in both the cervical smear and peritoneal fluid of one patient with MMMT. Atypical cells were found in another patient with MMMT.

Conclusion: Positive cervical or peritoneal cytology is uncommonly detected in association with uterine sarcomas. Even when abnormal cells are found, it may be difficult to give a definitive diagnosis of uterine sarcoma based directly on the cytomorphologic characteristics of cervical or peritoneal smears. However, such a possibility should be kept in mind by the cytopathologist to avoid missing the diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Ascitic Fluid / chemistry
  • Ascitic Fluid / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology*
  • Desmin / analysis
  • Desmin / immunology
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / diagnosis
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mixed Tumor, Mullerian / diagnosis
  • Mixed Tumor, Mullerian / pathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sarcoma / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Endometrial Stromal / diagnosis
  • Sarcoma, Endometrial Stromal / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Uterine Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vaginal Smears


  • Desmin