Frequency of intratubular germ cell neoplasia with invasive testicular germ cell tumors. Histologic and immunocytochemical features

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1985 Jun;109(6):555-9.


Intratubular germ cell neoplasia (ITGCN) has been regarded as the preinvasive stage of testicular germ cell tumors. We evaluated its frequency in 53 testicular germ cell tumors and determined whether immunohistochemical stains for alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin, carcinoembryonic antigen, and ferritin demonstrated an advantage in its detection in comparison with hematoxylin-eosin and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stains. Residual seminiferous tubules were found at the periphery of the invasive neoplastic foci in 47 cases. Intratubular germ cell neoplasia was detected in several or multiple seminiferous tubules in 46 cases (98%). Exquisite localization of PAS-positive intracellular granules was present in all but one case of ITGCN. Focal immunocytochemical positivity for human chorionic gonadotropin, carcinoembryonic antigen, and ferritin was noted in 2.3% of cases. We conclude that ITGCN is present in most invasive germ cell tumors and the PAS stain is very reliable in its demonstration. Antigenic expression of the proteins that we examined is extremely limited in these primordial germ cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen / analysis*
  • Choriocarcinoma / analysis
  • Choriocarcinoma / pathology
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / analysis*
  • Dysgerminoma / analysis
  • Dysgerminoma / pathology
  • Eosine Yellowish-(YS)
  • Ferritins / analysis*
  • Hematoxylin
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Male
  • Mesonephroma / analysis
  • Mesonephroma / pathology
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / analysis
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology*
  • Periodic Acid-Schiff Reaction
  • Seminiferous Tubules / analysis
  • Seminiferous Tubules / pathology*
  • Teratoma / analysis
  • Teratoma / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / analysis
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Testis / pathology*
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / analysis*


  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • Ferritins
  • Eosine Yellowish-(YS)
  • Hematoxylin