[Update on gynecopathology]

Pathologe. 2013 Feb;34(1):25-33. doi: 10.1007/s00292-012-1705-6.
[Article in German]


Recent years have witnessed significant achievements in light microscopic, immunohistochemical and molecular diagnostics in gynecopathology. In this article four topics will be discussed as examples. The squamous precancerous and carcinomatous lesions of the female anogenital tract and the cervix are caused by a transforming high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. No differences in morphological findings can be found between the different locations. In contrast to the current WHO classification a new categorization into low grade and high grade precancerous lesions is suggested. Only some cervical adenocarcinomas are related to high risk HPV infection. Nevertheless, some of these unusual variants demonstrate p16 overexpression. Uterine leiomyosarcomas are clinically aggressive neoplasms independent of the histological grade and in most cases curative treatment is not feasible. It is most important to distinguish leiomyosarcoma from those leiomyoma variants which mimic uterine leiomyosarcoma. Pelvic and ovarian serous carcinomas can be separated into low grade and high grade types which differ significantly in formal pathogenesis, molecular features and pathomorphological findings. Significant differences are also obvious in clinical behavior and response to chemotherapy regimens.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Genital Neoplasms, Female / pathology*
  • Genitalia, Female / pathology
  • Human papillomavirus 16
  • Humans
  • Leiomyoma / pathology
  • Leiomyosarcoma / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology


  • Biomarkers, Tumor