Cervical Adenocarcinoma: Histopathologic Features From Biopsies to Predict Tumor Behavior

Am J Surg Pathol. 2020 Feb;44(2):247-254. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0000000000001379.


The pattern-based classification system of endocervical adenocarcinoma correlates with nodal metastasis and clinical outcomes, but its application in biopsies is challenging. The aim of this study was the correlation of additional histologic features with patterns of invasion as well as prognosis. A total of 103 specimens from 71 cervical adenocarcinoma cases were studied. Among the 71 cases, all had resection specimens including hysterectomy, cold knife cone excision or loop electrosurgical excision procedure excision, and 32 of these had prior cervical biopsies. We applied the pattern-based classification system to all the specimens and evaluated histopathologic features microscopically. Findings in biopsies were compared with their corresponding resections and correlated with nodal status and disease stage. In 71 resection specimens, pattern A was present in 10 (14.1%), pattern B in 12 (16.9%), and pattern C in 49 (69%) cases. Of the 32 cervical biopsies, pattern of invasion could be classified in only 16 (50%) cases, including 1 (6%) with pattern A, 4 (25%) with pattern B, and 11 (69%) with pattern C. Of the 32 cervical biopsies, 30 could be evaluated for intraluminal necrotic/tumor debris and/or grade 3 nuclei, which correlated with pattern C as well as with lymph node metastasis in the subsequent staging specimens. No tumor with patterns A or B had intraluminal necrotic/tumor debris or grade 3 nuclei in either biopsy or resection specimens. Therefore, intraluminal necrotic/tumor debris and grade 3 nuclei are highly predictive histologic features for cervical adenocarcinomas with pattern C invasion and nodal metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / surgery
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hysterectomy
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prognosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery