Endocervical adenocarcinoma: selected diagnostic challenges

Mod Pathol. 2016 Jan:29 Suppl 1:S12-28. doi: 10.1038/modpathol.2015.131.


Endocervical adenocarcinomas can be classified into two main types of tumors, namely, those related to high-risk human papillomavirus and those unrelated to high-risk human papillomavirus. The former, representing the vast majority, are referred to as endocervical adenocarcinomas of usual type and the latter are dominated by the gastric-type mucinous adenocarcinomas. Commonly encountered diagnostic problems concerning these endocervical adenocarcinomas include: (1) diagnosing invasion for endocervical adenocarcinomas of usual type, particularly superficial forms which must be distinguished from extensive endocervical adenocarcinoma in situ; (2) distinguishing high-risk human papillomavirus-related endocervical adenocarcinomas from endometrial endometrioid carcinomas; and (3) distinguishing benign/hyperplastic mucinous endocervical glandular proliferations from gastric-type mucinous endocervical adenocarcinomas, particularly minimal deviation adenocarcinoma. The current review provides practical points and numerous illustrative examples to guide pathologists in addressing these diagnostic challenges in routine practice.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / virology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*