Atypical stromal giant cells of cervix uteri--evidence of Schwann cell origin

Pathol Res Pract. 1991 Dec;187(8):1031-5; discussion 1036-8. doi: 10.1016/s0344-0338(11)81078-2.


The report describes atypical multinucleated giant cells adjacent to proliferated nerve fascicles in a circumscribed subepithelial area of the cervix uteri of a 44-year-old multipara. Ultrastructural examination revealed cytoplasmatic processes, basal lamina, intracytoplasmic microfibrils, bizarre nuclear shapes with pseudoinclusions and nuclear fragments connected by small chromatin bridges (nucleotesimals). Immunohistochemical examination showed positive staining for vimentin and S-100 protein. Quantitative topography exhibited an isotropic distribution of the giant cells in an anisotropic architecture of mononuclear cells. A Schwann cell origin of the atypical giant cells is postulated. Aetiopathogenetically the lesion is regarded to be due to a trauma during delivery followed by regenerative proliferation of nerve fascicles and degenerative alterations of proliferating Schwann cells. The knowledge of this lesion is considered important, because the atypical cells could be confounded with malignant neoplastic cells.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division
  • Cervix Uteri / chemistry
  • Cervix Uteri / cytology*
  • Cervix Uteri / ultrastructure
  • Female
  • Giant Cells / chemistry
  • Giant Cells / cytology*
  • Giant Cells / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • S100 Proteins / analysis
  • Schwann Cells / chemistry
  • Schwann Cells / cytology*
  • Schwann Cells / ultrastructure
  • Vimentin / analysis


  • S100 Proteins
  • Vimentin