Perivascular epithelioid cell tumor of the uterus: report of four cases

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2005 Oct;24(4):341-6. doi: 10.1097/01.pgp.0000168515.83557.89.


Uterine perivascular epithelioid cell tumor (PEComa) is very rare, and there have been only 27 reported cases. The differentiation of the tumor has been enigmatic, and the biologic behavior remains unclear. This study describes the clinical, histologic, and immunohistochemical features of four cases of uterine PEComa. The patients were 30, 32, 36, and 40 years old, and none of them had tuberous sclerosis complex. The size of the tumors ranged from 1 to 30 cm in diameter, and 3 of the 4 tumors were confined in the uterus. One tumor involved the left ovary and omentum. Microscopically, the tumors were characterized by an epithelioid arrangement of tumor cells, which had abundant clear to eosinophilic pale granular cytoplasm, and one tumor had moderately atypical nuclei. Coagulative necrosis was found in two cases. The mitotic figures ranged from 0 to 11 per 10 high power fields. Immunohistochemically, the tumors were positive for vimentin (4/4), HMB45 (4/4), h-caldesmon (4/4), alpha-smooth muscle actin (3/4), muscle actin (2/4), and desmin (3/4). They were uniformly negative for Melan A, CD10, and S-100 protein. Ultrastructural examinations were performed on one case and revealed no melanosomes, premelanosomes, or evidence of smooth muscle differentiation. One patient died of intestinal metastases 17 months after surgery. The other patients have been well with no evidence of disease 8, 12, and 36 months after surgery. Uterine PEComa should be regarded as tumors with an uncertain malignant potential until long-term outcome data for a larger number of patients become available.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Actins / analysis
  • Adult
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins / analysis
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Cytoplasm / pathology
  • Desmin / analysis
  • Epithelioid Cells / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Melanoma-Specific Antigens
  • Mitosis
  • Necrosis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis
  • Omentum / pathology
  • Ovary / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Neoplasms / surgery
  • Vimentin / analysis


  • Actins
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Calmodulin-Binding Proteins
  • Desmin
  • Melanoma-Specific Antigens
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Vimentin