Introduction: Sertoli cell tumours have a rare (0.4-1.5% of all testicular neoplasms) and heterogeneous pathology. The aim of this paper is to analyse the histological classification of Sertoli cell tumours, in order to assess if the three different histotypes--classic type, large cell calcifying Sertoli cell tumour (LCCSCT) and sclerosing Sertoli cell tumour (SSCT)--really present distinctive clinical and prognostic features.
Materials and methods: The current literature was reviewed; Sertoli cell tumour clinical series and single case reports were searched and analysed. Hence, more than 200 classic Sertoli cell tumours, 48 LCCSCTs and only 12 SSCTs were found. The thirteenth SSCT has been found by us in a 34-year-old man.
Results: Every single sub-type presents clinical specific characteristics regarding age of onset, bilaterality, focality, abnormal hormone production, correlated systemic symptoms. Ultrasonographic findings, size and--above all--malignant potential.
Conclusions: The precise classification of these tumours is not important only histologically: the currently recognised variants really differ in clinical presentation and course. Moreover, LCCSCTs can be further divided in two subgroups with very different clinical behaviour, those in older patients and those associated with well-known syndromes. These clinical and prognostic variables are of great importance when deciding on the therapeutical approach.
Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel