New developments in endocervical glandular lesions

Histopathology. 2013 Jan;62(1):138-60. doi: 10.1111/his.12012. Epub 2012 Nov 8.


McCluggage W G (2012) Histopathology New developments in endocervical glandular lesions There is evidence that the prevalence of premalignant and malignant endocervical glandular lesions is increasing in real as well as in apparent terms. In this review, new developments and selected controversial aspects of endocervical glandular lesions are covered, concentrating mainly on premalignant and malignant lesions. The terminology of premalignant endocervical glandular lesions is discussed with a comparison of the World Health Organization classification and the cervical glandular intraepithelial neoplasia (CGIN) system, which is in widespread use in the United Kingdom. Primary cervical adenocarcinomas comprise a heterogeneous group of different morphological types, and while it is known that the majority of these are associated with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV), it has become clear in recent years that most of the more uncommon morphological types are unassociated with HPV, although they may sometimes be p16-positive. A spectrum of benign, premalignant and malignant cervical glandular lesions exhibiting gastric differentiation is now recognized; these include type A tunnel clusters, typical and atypical lobular endocervical glandular hyperplasia, adenoma malignum and gastric-type adenocarcinoma. The latter is a recently described variant of primary cervical adenocarcinoma which has a different morphological appearance to the usual endocervical type and which is probably associated with different patterns of spread and a worse prognosis. There is accumulating evidence that 'early invasive' cervical adenocarcinomas have an excellent prognosis and are suitable for conservative management. Immunohistochemical markers of value in the distinction between a primary cervical and endometrial adenocarcinoma are discussed. While it is well known that a panel of markers comprising oestrogen receptor (ER), vimentin, p16 and monoclonal carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) is useful, several major pitfalls are pointed out and this panel of markers is predominantly of value in 'low-grade' adenocarcinomas. A related group of lesions, including cervical ectopic prostatic tissue and vaginal tubulosquamous polyp, are probably derived from para-urethral Skene's glands and may be positive with prostatic markers. Recent developments in cervical neuroendocrine neoplasms are discussed, as these are associated not uncommonly with a premalignant or malignant endocervical glandular lesion.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Endometrioid / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prognosis
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / metabolism
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / metabolism


  • Biomarkers, Tumor