Recent advances in the pathology and classification of ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2006 Jul;25(3):199-215. doi: 10.1097/01.pgp.0000192271.22289.e6.


In recent years, our knowledge of ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors has increased, and their classification has evolved. In this review, recent advances in the classification and pathology of ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors are discussed, and the controversy regarding the classification of sex cord tumor with annular tubules is addressed. The current classification is built on those of the past, and future classifications should improve on what is now in place incorporating new knowledge from more sophisticated clinicopathologic studies and advanced molecular techniques. This review emphasizes articles written in the 21st century as well as those that have significantly advanced our knowledge of sex cord-stromal tumors in past decades. The tumors in this group occur over a wide age range and are often unilateral. In difficult cases, immunocytochemistry provides improved diagnostic accuracy. The most useful immunohistochemical marker for their identification is alpha-inhibin, which is positive in most neoplasms in the sex cord-stromal group. The article concludes with a section discussing the pathogenesis of sex cord-stromal tumors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Female
  • Fibroma / classification
  • Fibroma / etiology
  • Fibroma / pathology
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / classification
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / etiology
  • Granulosa Cell Tumor / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inhibins / analysis
  • Leydig Cell Tumor / classification
  • Leydig Cell Tumor / etiology
  • Leydig Cell Tumor / pathology
  • Luteoma / classification
  • Luteoma / etiology
  • Luteoma / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / classification*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / etiology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Sex Cord-Gonadal Stromal Tumors / chemistry
  • Sex Cord-Gonadal Stromal Tumors / classification*
  • Sex Cord-Gonadal Stromal Tumors / etiology
  • Sex Cord-Gonadal Stromal Tumors / pathology*
  • Thecoma / classification
  • Thecoma / etiology
  • Thecoma / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • inhibin-alpha subunit
  • Inhibins