Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa) of the uterine cervix associated with intraabdominal "PEComatosis": A clinicopathological study with comparative genomic hybridization analysis

World J Surg Oncol. 2004 Oct 19;2:35. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-2-35.


Background: The World Health Organization recently recognized a family of neoplasms showing at least partial morphological or immunohistochemical evidence of a putative perivascular epithelioid cell (PEC) differentiation. These tumors include angiomyolipoma (AML), clear cell "sugar" tumors of the lung (CCST), lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), clear cell myomelanocytic tumors of the falciform ligament and distinctive clear cell tumors at various other anatomic sites.

Case presentation & methods: A 41-year old gravida-1 para-1 with tuberous sclerosis presented with an incidentally identified 2.2 cm mass. The morphology and immunohistochemical profile was consistent with PEComa. Distinct aggregates of HMB-45 epithelioid cells were present in an occasionally distinctive perivascular distribution in the myometrium, small bowel lamina propria and ovarian hila. These distinctive aggregates, for which we propose the designation "PEComatosis" based on their intraabdominal distribution, did not display cytological atypia, mitotic activity or necrosis. CGH and DNA ploidy analysis showed a balanced chromosomal profile and diploid nuclei, respectively. There was no recurrence or metastases at 35 months' follow-up. Fifty-one previously reported cases of non-AML, LAM and CCST PEComas [perivascular epithelioid cell tumors- not otherwise specified (PEComa-NOS)] are reviewed.

Conclusions: The lesions may be a reflection of tumor multicentricity, in which each may be a potential nidus for the development of future more well-developed tumors. Alternatively, they may be a manifestation of a poorly understood "field effect", in which there is an increased propensity to develop tumors of this type throughout the abdomen. Finally, and least likely in our opinion, they may represent tumor spread from its primary site.