Malignant transformation of atypical endometrial hyperplasia after progesterone therapy showing germ-cell tumor-like differentiation

Pathol Int. 2004 Jun;54(6):451-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1827.2004.01644.x.


A 31-year-old woman was treated for atypical endometrial hyperplasia (AEH) with high-dose medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) therapy to preserve fertility. The AEH was found by repeated cytologic and histologic examinations to have completely disappeared with the therapy, but 3 years after her last follow up she required emergency surgery to treat severe genital bleeding. The hysterectomied uterus consisted mostly of poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma, G3 endometrioid type. Minor AEH was present in the exophytic area, in which some glands were cystically dilated. Part of the AEH had transformed into other histologic features with germ-cell-like differentiation, demonstrated by immunohistochemical positive reaction of placental alkaline phosphatase, alpha-fetoprotein, and human chorionic gonadotrophin. Recurrent AEH had undergone malignant transformation, resulting in the development of well- and poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma and tumor exhibiting germ-cell-like differentiation. The patient died of a massive tumor extension 7 months after surgery. The AEH before MPA therapy and the recurrent tumors had genetically different characteristics based on evidence of a loss of heterozygosity, detected at D8S1132 (chromosomal locus, 8q22.1) in the latter but not in the former, by analysis of genetic alterations using microsatellite markers.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary*
  • Adult
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / metabolism
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / drug therapy*
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia / pathology*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Germinoma / genetics
  • Germinoma / metabolism
  • Germinoma / secondary*
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate / therapeutic use*
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • Medroxyprogesterone Acetate
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • alkaline phosphatase, placental