Primary ovarian small cell carcinoma of pulmonary type. A clinicopathologic, immunohistologic, and flow cytometric analysis of 11 cases

Am J Surg Pathol. 1992 Oct;16(10):926-38. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199210000-00002.


Eleven primary ovarian tumors that resembled small cell carcinoma of the lung are reported. They occurred in women 28-85 (mean 59) years of age, most of whom presented with abdominal swelling. Six of the tumors were unilateral and five bilateral; seven had spread beyond the ovary. The tumors ranged from 4.5 to 26 (mean 13.5) cm in greatest dimension and were mostly solid, with a variable minor cystic component. Microscopic examination showed small to medium-sized round to spindle-shaped cells with scanty cytoplasm, hyperchromatic nuclei, and inconspicuous nucleoli growing in sheets, closely packed nests, and occasionally islands and trabeculae. A component of endometrioid carcinoma was present in four tumors, another tumor showed squamous differentiation, another contained a cyst lined by atypical mucinous cells, and two others were associated with a Brenner tumor. Argyrophil granules were present focally in two of six tumors appropriately stained. Immunohistochemical staining was performed in nine cases: in six there was staining of the small cell component for keratin, in five for epithelial membrane antigen, in seven for neuron-specific enolase, in two for chromogranin, and in one for Leu-7. Vimentin staining was not observed. Flow cytometry was performed on eight tumors: five were aneuploid and three diploid. Five of seven patients with long-term follow-up died of, or with, disease at 1-13 (mean 8) months, one died after an unknown interval, and one was alive at 7.5 years. Two other patients had recurrent or residual disease at 6 and 8 months.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / chemistry
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Small Cell / pathology*
  • Chromogranins / analysis
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Keratins / analysis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / analysis
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucin-1
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase / analysis
  • Recurrence


  • Chromogranins
  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Mucin-1
  • Keratins
  • Phosphopyruvate Hydratase