Mixed tumors of the vagina: an immunohistochemical study of 13 cases with emphasis on the cell of origin and potential aid in differential diagnosis

Mod Pathol. 2004 Oct;17(10):1243-50. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.3800173.


Mixed tumors of the vagina (MTsV) are rare benign neoplasms characterized by an admixture of well-differentiated epithelial cells and stromal-type cells in various proportions. In contrast to mixed tumors in other anatomic sites, the histogenesis of the vaginal tumors is unclear. We studied the immunohistochemical profile of 13 examples to explore their histogenesis and determine whether their immunohistochemical profile might be useful in the differential diagnosis. The panel of antibodies used and the number of cases studied were: AE1/3 (12), cytokeratin 7 (CK7) (13), cytokeratin 20 (CK20) (13), epithelial membrane antigen (EMA) (13), muscle actin (MA) (12), desmin (11), h-Caldesmon (13), CD10 (13), CD34 (11), CD99 (8), and S-100 (7). Eight out of 12 tumors were positive for AE1/3, 7/13 for CK7, 2/13 for CK20, and 6/13 for EMA. MA was positive in 11/12 mixed tumors, desmin in 10/11 tumors and h-Caldesmon in 5/13. All tumors were extensively positive for CD10; CD34 was positive in 7/11; and none out of eight tumors showed membranous CD99 staining. Focal S-100 immunoreactivity was seen in 1/7 tumors. These results show that MTsV coexpress epithelial and mesenchymal markers. The expression of muscle actin (usually extensive), and focal desmin and h-Caldesmon positivity suggests the presence of a smooth muscle or myoepithelial component; however, the S-100 negativity and diffuse CD10 expression argue against it. Positivity for muscle markers does not help distinguish MTsV from smooth muscle or skeletal muscle tumors. The frequent expression of CD10 negates its use in the differential diagnosis with endometrial stromal tumors, and the CD10 and CD34 expression suggests that mixed tumors may arise from a primitive pluripotential cell. MTsV are positive for h-Caldesmon and CD10, two markers that have been used in gynecologic pathology primarily to aid in establishing the smooth muscle or endometrial stromal phenotype of a neoplasm.

MeSH terms

  • 12E7 Antigen
  • Actins / analysis
  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, CD34 / analysis
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • Carcinoma / metabolism
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / analysis
  • Desmin / analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / analysis
  • Keratin-20
  • Keratin-7
  • Keratins / analysis
  • Mucin-1 / analysis
  • Muscle, Smooth / chemistry
  • Neprilysin / analysis
  • S100 Proteins / analysis
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Vaginal Neoplasms / pathology*


  • 12E7 Antigen
  • Actins
  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD34
  • CD99 protein, human
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Desmin
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • KRT20 protein, human
  • KRT7 protein, human
  • Keratin-20
  • Keratin-7
  • Mucin-1
  • S100 Proteins
  • Keratins
  • Neprilysin