Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor of the uterus: clinical and pathologic review of 10 cases including a subset with aggressive clinical course

Am J Surg Pathol. 2015 Feb;39(2):157-68. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000000330.


Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor is currently regarded as a neoplasm with intermediate biological potential and a wide anatomic distribution. Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors of the female genital tract are rare, and to date reported cases behaved indolently. We describe, herein, 10 cases of uterine inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor, 3 of which had an aggressive clinical course. Subject age ranged from 29 to 73 years. Tumors were composed of spindle and epithelioid myofibroblastic cells admixed with lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates in a variably myxoid stroma. Two growth patterns, myxoid and fascicular (leiomyoma-like), were noted. All tumors were positive for ALK expression by immunohistochemistry, which was stronger in the myxoid areas. Smooth muscle marker and CD10 expression was variable in extent, but typically positive. Fluorescence in situ hybridization for ALK rearrangements was positive in both fascicular and myxoid areas in all 8 cases tested. Three subjects showed clinical evidence of tumor aggressiveness as defined by extrauterine spread, local recurrence, or distant metastasis. Aggressive tumors were larger, had a higher proportion of myxoid stroma, and higher mitotic activity than indolent tumors. Tumor cell necrosis was seen only in cases with adverse outcome. This is the first report to describe aggressive biological behavior in uterine inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor. This diagnosis is often underappreciated and merits inclusion in the differential diagnosis of myxoid mesenchymal lesions of the uterus, particularly because patients with an aggressive course may benefit from targeted therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Muscle Tissue / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Muscle Tissue / pathology*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Uterine Neoplasms / genetics
  • Uterine Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • ALK protein, human
  • Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases