Heterologous and rare homologous sarcomas of the uterine corpus: a clinicopathologic review

Adv Anat Pathol. 2011 Jan;18(1):60-74. doi: 10.1097/PAP.0b013e3182026be7.


Pure sarcomas of the uterine corpus are uncommon, constituting less than 3% of all malignancies at this site, and most of them are leiomyosarcomas and endometrial stromal sarcomas. Rare histotypes of homologous sarcomas and heterologous sarcomas are occasionally encountered, and the absence of significant accumulated experience with these histotypes at this location may potentially raise diagnostic and patient management difficulties. In this article, the clinicopathologic attributes of all earlier reported sarcomas of the uterine corpus other than leiomyosarcomas and endometrial stromal sarcomas are summarized. Included are embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma, angiosarcoma, alveolar soft part sarcoma, malignant perivascular epithelioid cell tumors (PEComas), osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, liposarcomatous tumors, malignant extrarenal rhabdoid tumors, Ewing sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor, and other rare histotypes. Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (20%), Ewing sarcoma/primitive neuroectodermal tumor (17%), angiosarcoma (14%), and pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma (13%) appeared to be more common than the others, although there was no single overwhelmingly prevalent histotype in the group. A subset, including embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, alveolar soft part sarcoma, and PEComas, peak in the premenopausal years, but most of the others were observed in postmenopausal women. Favorable outcomes have been reported for the patients diagnosed with alveolar soft part sarcoma, and the prognosis for their counterparts with PEComa remains a matter of debate. Multimodal therapeutic approaches to contemporary patients with embryonal rhabdomyosarcomas have resulted in significantly improved outcomes. Unfortunately, most of the other sarcomas have been associated with rapid tumor progression and unfavorable patient outcomes. The differential diagnosis for these sarcomas is often extensive and varies by histotype, but their accurate diagnosis fundamentally requires the careful exclusion of biphasic malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chondrosarcoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Hemangiosarcoma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Liposarcoma / pathology
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / pathology
  • Osteosarcoma / pathology
  • Rhabdoid Tumor / pathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma, Embryonal / pathology
  • Sarcoma / pathology*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*