Ovarian microcystic stromal tumour: from morphological observations to syndromic associations

Histopathology. 2022 May;80(6):898-904. doi: 10.1111/his.14616. Epub 2022 Feb 28.


Microcystic stromal tumour (MST) is a rare, usually benign, ovarian neoplasm characterized morphologically in its classic form by a distinctive triad of features comprising microcysts, solid cellular regions and fibrous stroma. Variant morphology also occurs, including the presence of nests, tubules, cords and signet ring cells. Immunohistochemically, this neoplasm is characterized by diffuse nuclear expression of β-catenin, cyclin D1, Wilms' tumour 1 (WT1) and steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1), as well as diffuse staining with forkhead box ligand 2 (FoxL2) and CD10. Inhibin and calretinin are typically negative. At the genomic level, these neoplasms harbour mutually exclusive mutations in CTNNB1 or APC genes, with the former being significantly more common. This molecular characteristic raises possible links to other rare ovarian lesions, including solid pseudopapillary tumour, signet-ring stromal tumour and Sertoli cell tumour. Rarely, MST is an extracolonic manifestation of familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and serves as a sentinel event that could trigger the identification of the syndrome. Herein, we review the published literature on ovarian MST and provide practical advice for pathologists reporting these rare neoplasms.

Keywords: APC; CTNNB1; beta-catenin; immunohistochemistry; microcystic stromal tumour; ovary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ovarian Cysts*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Sex Cord-Gonadal Stromal Tumors* / genetics
  • Sex Cord-Gonadal Stromal Tumors* / pathology
  • beta Catenin / genetics


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • beta Catenin